Crunchy Celery Salad
Celery often gets a bad rap in terms of flavor and the strings that can thread through your teeth like dental floss when you take a bite out of a stalk! Maybe the flavor of celery is an acquired taste for some, but I really do enjoy its freshness myself. And never more so in this Crunchy Celery Salad. Even my husband, who could never be called a Confirmed Fan of celery, loves this salad.
What's to love about Crunchy Celery Salad?
If nothing else is to love, then the simplicity of this salad is so worthy of love. There's just four ingredients outside of the vinaigrette, which itself has a bit of Thai inspiration. The four ingredients ... apart from the vinaigrette ... are celery, green onions, cilantro, and cashews.
What if I don't like cilantro?!
I have to first say that because I'm such a big fan of cilantro, it makes me feel sorry for you that you don't like it! Because I just don't have that same experience! BUT ... I get it! Some people just can't enjoy cilantro.
So I would recommend substituting flat leaf parsley and some lime zest along with the lime juice. It will be just as delicious to you and especially because it was made in your kitchen and for your palate!
In the vein of the Thai inspiration, peanuts would probably more likely be included in a Crunchy Celery Salad, but because so many people have peanut allergies, I use cashews. If you want to use peanuts, then do so by all means!
Cashews are a beautiful complement to the freshness and crunchiness of the celery, green onion, and cilantro especially when they are toasted. They are somewhat chewy, but the flavor is what is so desired in this recipe.
When I have time, I toast the cashews. But if I don't want to bother, I just throw them in. You do what you want. It's your kitchen!
What about the vinaigrette?
The vinaigrette is very simple as well. It's just a bit of flavorless oil like avocado oil, lime juice, coconut aminos (or soy sauce, if you prefer), fish sauce, and a splash of sesame oil.
Just mix it all together, taste for seasoning, and enjoy one of the freshest salads you'll ever taste.
I highly recommend adding a chili sauce like Sambal Oelek. You can also add a thinly sliced and chopped red jalapeno, red Thai chili, or even red pepper flakes. I don't usually mix it in to keep it palatable for more people ... like the kiddos! I want them to taste these dishes at young ages to develop their palates early on. And yes, my Grands (three of them 6 years of age and under at this writing!) all eat this salad.
This salad would be delicious with any grilled or roasted meats, but we especially love it with the very much liked Crispy Pepper Chicken Wings. Such a great combination!
Crunchy Celery Salad
- ½ cup cashews chopped
- 1 bunch celery
- 1 cup cilantro
- 3 green onions
For the dressing
- 3 Tablespoons avocado oil or other neutral oil
- 2 teaspoons coconut aminos or soy sauce if you use soy products
- 2 teaspoons fish sauce See notes
- 2 Tablespoons lime juice
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- sea salt to taste
- 1 Tablespoon Sambal Oelek, optional See notes
- Put the chopped cashews into a cast iron (or other thick bottomed} skillet. Place the skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Tossing often, toast the cashews till they are colored. Set aside to cool.
- Cut the celery in thin slices. If the stalks are wide, cut them lengthwise before slicing them. Put the slices in a large bowl.
- Chop the cilantro. Add to the large bowl.
- Slice the green onions thinly, using mostly the white part and some of the green. Add to the large bowl. Save the dark green to season beef, chicken, or vegetable stock. You can put them in the freezer for future use.
- Mix all of the ingredients for the dressing in a small bowl with a whisk or in a jar to shake. Pour over the salad ingredients and stir to mix.
- Fish sauce imparts tons of flavor with even a small amount. I recommend Red Boat Fish Sauce, but if you choose to not use it, add a bit more coconut aminos or soy sauce.
- Sambal Oelek is a chili sauce. It is widely available, but if you can't find it, you can substitute a red jalapeno, Thai red chilies, or dried red pepper flakes.
Tip on celery: before you chop it use a potato peeler to remove the outer layer of strings. No more stringy celery