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Celery Salad with the First Spring Herbs

(recipe, Deborah Madison)

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    1. 1 shallot, finely diced
    2. Zest of 1 Meyer lemon
    3. 1½ Tbsp. Meyer lemon juice
    4. ¼ tsp. salt
    5. 1 Tbsp. walnut oil
    6. 2 Tbsp. olive oil
    1. 3 cups (approximately) thinly sliced celery stalks (peel any rough-looking stalks first)
    2. Finely chopped herbs, including the celery leaves, parsley, lovage, carrot tops, and chives
    3. Orach sprigs, if you have them
    4. ⅓ cup freshly cracked and chopped walnuts
    5. Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
    6. Several handfuls of mâche


    1. Make the vinaigrette: Combine the shallot, zest, lemon juice, and salt in a bowl, and let stand 10 minutes. Whisk in the oils. Taste for salt and add more if you wish.
    2. Make the salad: Toss the sliced celery with the herbs, walnuts, and a few pinches of sea salt, then with enough of the dressing to moisten well. Taste for salt and season with pepper.
    3. Serve the salad: Loosely line a bowl with the mâche and add the celery. Spoon a little dressing over the mâche leaves, and toss at the table.


    You could also include thinly sliced fennel, or finish with hard-cooked eggs, chopped and tossed with the celery, or quartered and served on the side. If mâche isn’t available, choose another green, such as chopped white or pink endive, slivered radicchio, slivered romaine leaves, or frisée. Include boiled, sliced, or diced yellow-fleshed potatoes or celeriac. But hold the mayo!