I’ve gone a little nuts, of late, with acquiring new cookbooks. In my defense, the The Native Foods Restaurant Cookbook was a gift from my friend Amanda. And Perfect Scoop was a birthday gift from me to my husband (ergo practically a present to myself- hee hee!) But I have no good excuse, aside from determination to reach Amazon‘s $25 minimum for SuperSaver shipping, for buying both of Heidi Swanson‘s cookbooks, Cook 1.0 and Super Natural Cooking, in such rapid succession.
With so many pictureless cookbooks out there these days, I had forgotten how glorious and enticing truly beautiful food photography can be. Is my desire to make nearly everything in these cookbooks, especially Super Natural Cooking, a result of the healthy recipes or the stunning photographs? No matter, the end result is a slew of new recipes that have jumped to the front of my to-cook list. But what to make first? A bag of aging kumquats, the page falling open just so, a heat wave, and a recommendation from Erin all colluded, the other night, to make Heidi’s Clemenquat Salad (or my version, Orangequat salad), my first recipe.
I’ll be the first to admit that I’m no huge fan of celery (honestly really, is anyone?), but somehow the photo just looked so appealing…and you know what? Sliced so thin and blended with so many other wonderful flavors, the celery somehow lost it’s distinctive stringy celery-ness and instead became just a crisp, cool crunch. With both sweet and tart citrus flavors, salty parmesan, crunchy walnuts, and that refreshing celery, this salad was just lovely and a welcome change from the traditional leafy green-based salads.
This is my entry for the Weekend Cookbook Challenge, “Something New”.
Orangequat salad (serves 2-4 depending on whether it’s the bulk of your meal)
1 orange (or 6-7 clementines or substitute other sweet citrus of your choosing)
7 stalks of celery
3 big handfuls of walnuts, chopped and toasted
juice of 1/2 lemon
2-3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
block of parmesan cheese
1. Flesh the orange (see Dylan’s tips on how to do it easily), cut segments into slightly smaller pieces, and place in a bowl.
2. Slice the celery 1/8 inch thick (I used a mandolin) and add to the bowl. Using a serrated knife so as not to crush the kumquats, slice them into 1/8-inch thick rounds, popping the seeds out with the tip of your knife as you encounter them. Place slices of kumquat in the bowl and add the toasted walnuts.
3. In a small bowl, whisk the lemon juice, oil, a few pinches of salt, and a few grinds of pepper. Drizzle the dressing over the salad and toss with your hands so as not to break the citrus further. Make parmesan curls by running a vegetable peeler along the long side of the block of parmesan and top each serving with a few curls.