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Celery Root and Apple Salad (Insalata di Mele)

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Lydia1 (1)The flavor of the tender celery root mingles well with the crisp texture and light sweetness of the apples. A tart dressing with olive oil and mustard,  and garnish of chives, finished the salad off.  It paired well with the Bastianich Friulano 2007.  You can find the Bastianich wines at Central Market.

Celery Root and Apple Salad (Insalata di Mele)

1 (2-pound) whole celery root, rinsed well but not peeled
1 pound firm, crisp apples (such as Granny Smith, Gravenstein, Jonathan, Gala or Fuji)
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 tablespoon German-style mustard (coarse ground)
1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives

Note: Recommended equipment: A large bowl for dressing, tossing and serving.

Put celery root into a large saucepan with cold water to cover, and heat to a boil. Lower the heat a bit and simmer celery root for about an hour or so until cooked through and tender. As it cooks, keep the root weighted down with a plate or pot lid. When you can easily pierce it with a skewer, drain it in a colander and cool.

When it is cool, peel the celery root by scraping off the skin with the dull side of a paring knife. Cut out the bits of skin in the folds and knobby parts. Cut celery root in half, and slice each half into thin half-moons; put these in a large bowl. (If the celery root is a bit fibrous, cut slices into thin matchsticks.)

Rinse apples well, but do not peel them. Slice them in half, through the stem and bottom ends and cut out seeds and cores. Slice halves crosswise into half-moons, about 1/8-inch thick, add to the bowl, and gently toss the celery root and apple slices together.

[amazon-product]0307267512[/amazon-product]For dressing, whisk together the vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper in small bowl, then whisk in the olive oil gradually, until smooth and emulsified. Pour dressing over the celery root and apples, sprinkle the chives on top and tumble to coat all the slices with dressing. Serve cool or at room temperature.

Note: Lidia Bastianich suggests adding thinly sliced prosciutto to the plate to make this salad a more substantial antipasto, as she did for the KLRN Chef Series, Nov. 1.

Makes 6 servings.

From “Lidia Cooks from the Heart of Italy: A Feast of 175 Regional Recipes”by Lidia Bastianich and Tanya Bastianich Manuali

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