Crunchy Celery Salad with Medjool Dates, Mint, Hazelnuts and Parmesan

Serves 4

Who doesn’t love a quick, throw-together side? This supremely crunchy celery salad comes together in 10 minutes and is so simple, you won’t even need a recipe after you’ve whipped this up once or twice. The toasted hazelnuts, gooey dates and nutty parmesan are nicely balanced out by the fresh mint, celery and lemon. If possible, use the tender, light green celery stalks here. The tougher, darker ones can be reserved for soups, stock and snacks. Since there are so few ingredients in this salad, each component is that much more important. So, it’s a good time to pull out your best bottle of olive oil or splurge on a wedge of crumbly Parmigiano Reggiano. Throw this simple salad together for a light lunch or serve it alongside roast chicken or lamb chops right off the grill.

Ingredients:

8 stalks celery, thinly sliced on the bias, plus ½ cup bright green celery leaves

6 Rancho Meladuco medjool dates, pits removed and sliced into coins (see NOTE below)

½ cup toasted hazelnuts, chopped

½ lemon

Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Torn mint leaves and shaved Parmesan cheese, for garnish

Flaky sea salt, for sprinkling

On a platter or shallow serving bowl, arrange the sliced celery in an even layer. Scatter the date coins and toasted hazelnuts over the top. Squeeze the half lemon over the top and drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Scatter the torn mint, celery leaves and shaved parmesan over the top and sprinkle with flaky sea salt and more black pepper. Enjoy!

NOTES To cut your dates into coins, remove the pit from the top of the date with pliers or strong tweezers, then slice crosswise. Check out the Rancho Meladuco Instagram page (link below) for a quick video tutorial on how to do this.

https://www.instagram.com/reel/CcZBF5WgvYc/

Recipe & Photo: Julia Heffelfinger @Juliaheff

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