Celery Radish Apple Winter Salad

by R.B. Quinn and Min Merrell

Celery Radish Apple Winter Salad showcases celery and radishes as headliners, not supporting cast.  

My friend Elizabeth has an easy salad making secret that she learned from a friend and passed on to me, and I’ve since passed it on to at least a dozen more people. And who knows how many more links have been created on this salad chain. All I know is that the potluck, dinner party salads should be looking quite familiar in Nashville because we’re all following the same template–one fruit, one nut, one cheese, and greens.  Add your favorite vinaigrette. Elizabeth counts on Gerard’s Champagne Vinaigrette which is definitely company-ready. Last time I told Elizabeth to bring a salad she showed up with a gorgeous wooden bowl filled with baby greens topped with pomegranate seeds (one fruit) walnuts (one nut) and crumbled goat cheese (one cheese). It was killer.  Everyone came back for at least seconds.

I was thinking about Elizabeth’s salad template while reading Martha Rose Shulman’s New York Times column on making celery the star in a winter salad like her wonderful Celery and Radish Salad with Gorgonzola. All she forgot was the fruit. So here’s my Celery Radish Apple Winter Salad with feta cheese and walnuts that follows the rule. One fruit, one nut, one cheese–in this case my “greens” are celery and radish and maybe some spinach.

Go ahead and use some of those celery leaves when slicing up the celery and it’s worth getting out the mandoline for beautiful paper-thin slices of radish and apple. Gerard’s Champagne Vinaigrette will work just fine or concoct your own simple vinaigrette. Martha uses a little walnut oil in her recipe for extra depth. Walnut oil will set you back close to 10 dollars, but it will last a long time in the refrigerator. I try to keep my refrigerator free of too many specialty condiments, but I do always make room for walnut oil. If salad making is your thing, it will definitely kick you up a notch.

Of course, it’s better served on a platter!

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