12 September 2012

Parmesan, Celery, and Chickpea Salad

Parmesan Celery Salad
I just realized that, from my posts, it looks like my diet is almost entirely comprised of sweets. Funny! The truth is, I'm enamored with fresh, healthful ingredients and love creatively composed salads (see Exhibit A and B). I just get really excited about making and photographing desserts because they're exquisite, a bit vulgar in their decadence, and fun to share with a crowd. But although they get less public attention, salads brimming with texture, color, and flavor are regular and welcome guests in our home.

Recently, I happened upon the prodigious Heidi Swanson, author of 101 Cookbooks, a blog dedicated to all eats exquisite, vegetarian, and healthy. Her recipe count nearly grazes 2,000. The first three I looked at I added to my MAKE IMMEDIATELY folder on my desktop. I think I just found a solution to my restraining order-worthy addiction to Smitten Kitchen.

The first recipe I tested was her Coconut Corn Salad; we ate it up before I could get my lens cap off. Trust me, it's fantastic. The second was my take on a Parmesan Celery Salad; I served it next to spaghetti over the weekend. Crunchy and thoughtfully simple, it will certainly make more appearances on our dinner table.

Parmesan, Celery, and Chickpea Salad
  • 8 large celery stalks, diced into small cubes
  • 2 Tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups canned chickpeas/garbanzo beans, rinsed
  • 4 Tbsp grated Parmesan
  • 4 Tbsp dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts, deeply toasted
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • coarsely-ground black pepper
  1. Whisk together the white wine vinegar, lemon juice, coriander, garlic, and olive oil until emulsified. (Hint: it helps to tilt the bowl while whisking.) Toss with celery, chickpeas, and Parmesan until well-mixed. Fold in cranberries and pine nuts.
  2. Salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Serve.