Sunday, January 18, 2009

Make Me a Match

This "matchstick" salad came about in my quest to maintain bright, colorful, fresh flavors in my diet right on through the winter. The ingredients are all in season and even at the peak of their juiciness right about now, and this salad simply explodes with refreshing tastes we more associate with summer. So have a little sunshine on me!

Celery Root, Green Apple and Citrus Matchstick Salad with Champagne/Grapefruit Vinaigrette
  • 1 small celery root bulb
  • 1 large Granny Smith apple
  • 4-6 fresh seedless clementines or seeded honey tangerines, peeled and segmented (canned mandarin oranges would also work)
  • 1 fresh Ruby Red grapefruit, peeled and segmented
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup Champagne (Brut style works best; you can also substitute with Champagne vinegar)
  • 1/4 cup fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice
  • Kosher salt, to taste
Trim leaves, ends and stems of celery root bulb (keep the leafy greens for your stockpot though!); cut away outer edges to square off the bulb. Chop the bulb into tiny matchsticks. Do the same with the Granny Smith apple. While you are chopping, place the matchsticks as they are created in a bowl of cold water with a tablespoon or two of lemon juice to keep them from browning. Cut the clementine and grapefruit segments into bite-sized chunks; add to the drained matchsticks. Toss all with the vinaigrette and let set in refrigerator for a minimum of 20 minutes to let flavors set. It gets even better the next day!

And speaking of celery root - my friend Aerial sent me this recipe to add after seeing the original blog post above. She said it's an old Jewish recipe, and it sounds delicious!

Celery Root in Mustard Dressing
Contributed by Aerial Gilbert
  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • 3/4 cup light olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • White pepper, to taste
  • 4 cups celery root (about 1 pound)
In a large bowl whisk together mustard and vinegar. Continue whisking and drizzle the olive oil a little at a time until fully incorporated; season with salt and pepper.

Peel and cut the celery root into julienne strips; toss with the dressing. Serve as a first course or on Boston lettuce as a salad.


  1. Mo -- do you have a suggestion on what to use in place of the celery root? It just isn't available in the local grocery stores out here in the back 40. Thanks!

  2. Sure! Jicama!! Yummy alternative for sure.