So 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!