CELERY AND ARTICHOKE SALAD

by - 5:20 AM

Celery is not used often enough as a principal salad ingredient, but the inner stalks
of the head have a wonderful freshness, flavor, and delicacy when thinly sliced.
(Make sure to include the tender inside leaves of the celery as well.) My readers
rave about this recipe, and love the crunchy texture and the savory shaved cheese.
SERVES 6
2 whole lemons
1 quart cold water
6 firm small artichokes, no wider than 3 inches
8 to 12 tender stalks celery with leaves, from the inner part of the head
FOR THE DRESSING
1½ tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, or more to taste
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
¾ teaspoon salt, or more to taste
¼-pound chunk of Grana Padano or Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, or more to taste
Cut the 2 lemons in half, and squeeze their juice into a bowl with a quart of cold water.
The acidulated water will keep the artichoke slices from discoloring after you cut them.
To trim the artichokes: Work with one artichoke at a time. Trim off the thick outside
leaves until you reach the tender, pale inside leaves. Cut off the tough bottom of the
stem but leave most of it (an inch or so) attached to the globe. With a vegetable peeler
or paring knife, peel off the outer skin of the short stem, exposing the fresh layer
underneath. Next, at about a third of the way down, cut straight across the pointed top
of the artichoke, removing the tips of the leaves. Drop the trimmed artichoke into the
acidulated water, and trim the rest of them in this way, submerging them all in the
bowl.
To prepare the celery: Trim off the tender leaves, and slice each stalk on the diagonal
into ⅛-inch-thick delicate, translucent crescents. Gently cut the tender leaves to pieces
of about ¾ inch, then toss all the celery—about 2 cups—into a large mixing bowl.
To make and dress the salad: When you’re ready to serve the salad, remove a trimmed
artichoke from the lemon water, and cut, from stem to top, into thin ⅛-inch slices; add
the slices to the bowl with the celery. Quickly slice all the artichokes this way, then toss
the celery and artichoke slices together with the 1½ tablespoons lemon juice, the olive
oil, and the salt.
Shave about twenty-four large, delicate flakes of Grana Padano or Parmigiano-
Reggiano from the chunk of cheese, using a vegetable peeler or a sharp knife: each
shaving should be a couple of inches long and an inch or two wide. Gently fold the
shavings of cheese into the sliced vegetables. Taste, and adjust dressing. Arrange the
salad on a serving platter, or portion it on salad plates. Shave more flakes of cheese,
and scatter a dozen or more over the platter, or place three or four flakes on top of each
individual serving.

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