Sometimes, I can’t help but equate my never-ending search for the perfect Bed and Breakfast purchase to online dating. I start out searching for geographic desirability (location is key), then I’ll notice a photo that sparks my interest, maybe smile a bit when reading the “bio” – ocean views, fireplaces, large owner’s quarters, commercial kitchen – only to be disappointed when faced with the reality. I found another Inn for sale this week in an ideal location along the Mendocino coast, only to be told by my broker that, according to the financials, it’s most likely a “lifestyle B&B” (read: not making significant income). This is the equivalent in the online dating world to “still lives with his mother.” Sigh.
Enough daydreaming for today, Julie. Back to the monotonous suburban daily grind that is slowing sucking away my soul – and the safe harbor of happiness called my kitchen. This is another recipe from Joshua McFadden’s cookbook, Six Seasons. I love that he takes humble, quotidian vegetables, like carrots and, in this case, celery, and gives them a starring role like in this crunchy celery-centric salad.
Celery Salad with Dates, Almonds and Bleu Cheese
A crisp, refreshing salad that pairs well with cold poached salmon or cold roast chicken.
- 8-10 celery stalks (depending on size), leaves reserved, tough fibers peeled off, sliced on an angle, ¼ inch thick
- 4 Medjool dates, pitted and roughly chopped
- ½ cup roughly chopped toasted almonds
- 3 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- Salt & freshly ground black pepper
- 1 oz. mild blue cheese, crumbled
- 4 Tablespoons Good quality olive oil
- Soak sliced celery pieces in a bowl of ice water for about 20 minutes to heighten crispness. Strain, pat dry, and place in a dry bowl (I dried out the same bowl).
- Add the celery leaves, dates, almonds, lemon juice and red pepper flakes and toss together. Season well with salt and black pepper. Adjust seasoning, if needed. At the blue cheese and olive oil. Toss gently and adjust seasoning again, adding more olive oil, lemon juice, salt or pepper as needed.
- Let chill for 30 minutes to allow flavors to combine.
On a side note, I was pleased to find my Cranberry Bakewell Mini Tarts featured on the Shari’s Berries site this week. Thanks for the shout out!