Lemony celery and parmesan salad

Sometimes simple is just the best, and sometimes healthy and light is what your body is craving (a weekend full of burgers and eggs Benedict and Indian takeout and wine and cocktails helps get you and your skinny jeans there real quick).  Ina Garten’s celery salad is truly the answer, and every time I make it I’m amazed at how flavorful and refreshing it is. I had never thought of celery as an ingredient to shine in a dish (I usually eat it smothered in blue cheese—#health—or chopped up in soup), but the citrusy dressing and salty parmesan turn it into something wholly different and I am all about it. This salad is the perfect light side dish to chicken or grilled fish for dinner, and it makes a great lunch salad as well.

It requires close to nothing (especially my dumbed down version of Ina’s recipe), and it’s a smart way to use up celery in your fridge that is leftover from using a half of one stalk for some other recipe.

Lemony Celery and Parmesan Salad

Simplified from Ina Garten
Yields about 4 servings
1 bunch of celery (all parts, including the leaves), thinly sliced
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
Juice of 3 lemons
2 tsp lemon zest
½ tsp celery salt
Salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
¼ cup chopped flat leaf parsley
About 4 oz freshly grated parmesan cheese (shaved into long pieces looks the prettiest!)

Place chopped celery in a mixing bowl.  Whisk olive oil with lemon juice until emulsified and add lemon zest and celery salt.  Toss celery with dressing and let sit covered in the fridge for at least an hour.  When ready to serve, pull from the fridge and add salt and pepper to taste.  Pour salad (or use tongs to place) onto serving dish and top with chopped parsley and parmesan cheese.  I think it looks great spread out on a long white platter, but any plate or bowl will work!