Every Thursday, I’m excited to go to my neighbourhood market in the evening. It always has the freshest selection of amazing vegetables that always inspire me to make a salad. Tonight, I found the first fresh celery of the season. Our climate is barely hospitable to its growth so the stalks may be a little thinner, the crunch louder and the flavour more intense than what others find as normal. I knew I had to incorporate it into a salad with a bunch of other vegetables.
As you can see on the lower left, our celery grows with an almost equal ratio of stalk to leaf. This also gives an opportunity to add flavour. The leaves are visually and texturally like a flat leaf parsley, but with a bold celery flavour. If your celery is all stalk, there’s an herb with a very similar flavour, lovage, that would be equally delicious.
As I started to thinly slice the celery, I also had bought a head of cabbage and thought I’d make a vibrant and texturally variable slaw. With some leftover roasted beets (see how to roast beets here) and fresh raspberries, the dressing practically made itself.
Cabbage Celery and Green Bean Slaw with Raspberry Roasted Beet Dressing
For the Raspberry Roasted Beet Dressing:
1/4 cup roasted beets
1/4 cup fresh raspberries
3 Tbsp honey
1/4 cup plain yogurt
1 Tbsp white vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
Place all of the dressing ingredients in a blender or food processor and purée until smooth. Set aside.
For the salad:
1 cup thinly sliced green cabbage
1/3 cup fresh green beans, blanched for 4-5 minutes, cooled in ice water
1/2 cup thinly sliced cucumber
1/4 cup celery, thinly sliced on the bias (ie diagonally), to give longer slices
1/4 cup celery leaves (or lovage, or flat leaf parsley)
1/4 cup thinly sliced leeks, white part and first 2cm/1″ of green part only
2 Tbsp reserved Raspberry Roasted Beet Dressing
In a large bowl, combine the cabbage, blanched green beans, cucumber, celery, celery leaves and leeks. Add the dressing and toss lightly with your fingers. Allow to sit for 20-30 minutes to marinate and soften some of the firmer vegetables slightly. Serves 2-3.