Winter Salad: Celery, Red Pepper, Olives and Avocado

IMG_1387So much for seasonality.  Winter is not a great time for local greens so when I came across this recipe I had to try it.  Partly because I love celery, especially celery leaves, and because I think the addition of avocado at the very end is brilliant – giving this, crunchy salty, salad a creamy finish.    Best of all it’s so easy to make.

This is slightly adapted from a recipe by Marcella Hazen.

Celery, Red Pepper, Olives and Avocado 

Remove the seeds, stem and white pith from a medium/large Red Pepper.  Cut into long 1″ strips then cut each strip into 2″ chunks.  Place in a medium size bowl.

Add all the leaves from a bunch of celery along with 3-4 stalks – I like to use a selection of the inner smaller paler stalks and the bigger greener outside stalks.  Chop into bite site pieces 1-2″and add to the red pepper.

Take a large handful (1/3 – 1/2 cup) of pitted Kalamata Olives and half or roughly chop them before tossing them in with the celery and pepper.

In a small bowl add 1 Tablespoon of Red Wine Vinegar, 4 Tablespoons Olive Oil and a generous pinch os salt and freshly grated black pepper to taste, whisk to emulsify.

With a sharp knife halve a Hass Avocado, remove the pit and score the flesh horizontally then diagonally on an angle – creating small bite size pieces – invert the peel and scoop the flesh out into the bowl with the other ingredients.

Just before serving toss with vinaigrette, taste and adjust seasoning before serving.

I’m still happy with this salad as is, but I think there are several variations that call out – addition of toasted walnuts and goat cheese, using Balsamic Vinegar instead of red Wine – both come to mind.   If you get creative please tell me about it in the comments!

 

About urbanfoodguy

I'm a self taught cook with a dedication to buying and eating food that is as humanely and sustainably raised as possible. Which is why in addition to recipes you will see a lot of environmental/political reporting here. I started cooking when I was about 6, it's something I always loved to do. Watching Graham Kerr - aka "The Galloping Gourmet" - was what got me started and I have never really looked back. Over the years I've been a private chef, a caterer, and a food stylist for magazines such as Bon Appétit, Food & Wine, Real Simple, Oprah, Martha Stewart's Everyday Food and many more. I've also worked in the prep kitchen for the Food Network on the Bobby Flay and Paula Deen shows. Now I work at home in my kitchen sharing with you here recipes that I create or that other people have created that inspire me and I think you will like. I love my neighborhood (the Lower East Side of Manhattan) and I love to travel. Because NYC is such a big place I tend to focus mostly on my 'hood and the ones that are close by: The East Village, Bowery, Chinatown and Williamsburg. My love of travel has no limits really, I'm always ready to get on a plane. I was lucky enough to have a business for many years that allowed me to spend a lot of time in South East Asia. These days I've been spending time in Mexico, Germany, Canada and the West Coast of the U.S., but check back you never know where I might end up. I do consulting, cooking classes, and freelance lifestyle writing so if you are interested please send me a note: urbanfoodguy@gmail.com
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