Celery Salad with Golden Raisins, Lemon, and Za’atar is officially my segue into spring flavors. I love cold months so much, but one of the reasons I live where I do is for the distinct four seasons. If winter hadn’t already outstayed its welcome, it really made its place known with another unexpected, and pretty large, snow dump earlier this week. My car got stuck and I ended up staying late at work because I was literally trapped. Needless to say, I’ve had enough of winter.
Enter this celery salad and I was met with a little bit of joy in the otherwise cold and dreary days. It’s crisp, easy to pull together, and really adds an unexpected element to those heartier winter meals. I really love the balance in this salad!
This recipe was inspired by a favorite chef of mine, Joshua McFadden. His book, Six Seasons, is truly one of the most beautiful cookbooks I’ve ever read. Trust me- my collection is overflowing. In that cookbook, he has a recipe for a similar celery salad with dates, parmesan cheese, and various other delightful ingredients. This is basically a riff on that famous recipe. I took out the nuts that are present in his recipe and made the addition of za’atar in my recipe. I love nuts, but I found that we’ve been consuming a lot of them since adopting a gluten-free lifestyle. Whether its almond milk, almond flour, other nut flour blends, etc., it was just a lot of nuts. The za’atar is punchy and bright enough to stand up to the lemon in this dish, plus I just love the taste of it.
Nuts or not, this salad excels in every aspect. Read on for the how-to.
Ingredients needed to make Celery Salad with Golden Raisins, Lemon, and Za’atar
To make this celery salad, you really need to get yourself some celery. I implore you to skip the pre-cut celery hearts at your store and instead grab a full-blown head of celery, with the leaves attached. Those little celery leaves are so delicious chopped up and added into this salad, plus it’s just one other way you can reduce your food waste in the kitchen. Save the leaves!
Here’s everything you’ll need:
- Romaine lettuce
- Golden raisins
- Olive oil
- Za’atar spice blend
- Sharp cheese, such as parmesan, aged provolone, pecorino romano
- Black pepper
Tools used to make Celery Salad with Golden Raisins, Lemon, and Za’atar
This salad requires super minimal equipment. You’ll need a large cutting board, sharp knife, large mixing bowl, small mixing bowl, a whisk or fork, and measuring cups and spoons. Pretty simple!
How to make Celery Salad with Golden Raisins, Lemon, and Za’atar
To begin, combine the thinly sliced celery and leaves, torn romaine, and golden raisins in your large mixing bowl. I like to cut the celery on the bias to make it look pretty for serving, but you can cut it any way your heart pleases. I also like the rustic look of the torn romaine leaves, but you could roughly chop them if you must.
In the smaller mixing bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, za’atar, and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Whisking constantly, stream the olive oil into the lemon juice mixture and keep whisking until a vinaigrette forms. Pour the vinaigrette over the salad, toss, and season once more with salt and pepper. Transfer to a serving plate.
At the end, I’ll sometimes garnish with more golden raisins. Sometimes they sink to the bottom of the salad, and I like a few to be resting on top so folks know whats in the salad they’re about to eat. Finally, you’ll top it all with your shaved sharp cheese of choice. SO delicious!
Looking for other quick and fresh salads?
Try these recipes from The Ardent Cook
8-10 stalks celery, stalks thinly sliced, leaves roughly chopped
6 romaine leaves, torn
¼ cup golden raisins
Juice of 1 lemon
Scant ¼ cup olive oil
1 tsp za’atar
2 oz sharp cheese, such as parmesan or aged provolone, shaved
Salt and black pepper, to taste
- Combine celery and leaves, torn romaine, and golden raisins in a large mixing bowl.
- In a smaller mixing bowl, combine lemon juice, za’atar, and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Whisking constantly, stream the olive oil into the lemon mixture and continue whisking until a vinaigrette forms.
- Toss the salad with the vinaigrette, season once more with salt and pepper, then transfer to a serving bowl or plate.
- Top with the shaved cheese and additional golden raisins if desired. Enjoy!
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