Celery salad is a raw vegetable salad.
Here we use young leave celery with thin stems and plenty of leaves so we use the whole plant. It is a pretty crunchy and sharp tasting salad, but balanced by the feta and the soft boiled eggs.
The art of making celery salad
Raw vegetables can be made more digestible after they marinate for some time in a sugar / salt mixture. The salt and sugar cause some of the cells to break down and release their content because of osmotic pressure differences. In making the green mango salad we also use this trick.
For this salad we preserve the vegetable juices which will become a part of the dressing.
Most importantly, use fresh, crunchy vegetables and fresh leaves.
- sharp pointed big needle to make two tiny holes in the eggs
- vegetable centrifuge to spin dry
- If you want to have the taste less harsh, consider to take out most of the onion from the raw vegetable part and instead fry the sliced onion pieces in peanut oil until crisp. Let it cool down. Use that as garnish on top. Thus it provides more sweetness to the dish and leave the feta out in that case.
- The soft boiled eggs provide balance to the salad. And for a Chinese touch to the salad, consider to make the eggs several hours ahead of time. After boiling and cooling them down, crack the shells here and there. Then place them in a cold mixture of two parts water and one part light and dark soy sauce, tea leaves, star anise and orange zest, that has been first simmered for an hour or so. Leave them there for several hours or even a day. A zip lock bag is ideal for this. Peel them just before serving, break them (the yellow is still runny) and add them to the salad.
- This recipe has been inspired by Yotam Ottolenghi’s recipe from the book ‘Plenty More’.
Celery salad with soft boiled eggs
Ingredients to make the salad
- 10.6 oz (300 g) celery stems with leaves
- 7 oz (200 g) green bell peppers
- 5.3 oz (150 g) onion
- 0.7 oz (20 g) fresh Vietnamese mint or coriander leaves
- 0.7 oz (20 g) fresh parsley leaves
- 1 Asian medium red chilli (de-seeded)
- 1 tsp palm or cane sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- black pepper for taste
- salt for taste
- 3 lemons
- 4 eggs
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 4 tbsp capers
- 7 oz (200 g) feta optional
Instruction to make the salad
- Wash the celery stems and leaves and separate the leaves
- Finely slice the stems (in the diagonal) and dry spin the leaves and reserve
- Wash and de-seed the green bell peppers and slice in fine (4mm wide) strips
- Finely slice the onion
- Combine sliced celery stems, green pepper strips and onion slices in a bowl. Add the sugar and 1/2 tsp salt. Mix and let stand for half hour.
- Slice off the top and bottom of each of the lemons and then with a sharp knife take the peel and the white pith off the lemons. Over a bowl, take off the individual segments of the lemons in between the membranes, similar to preparing an orange to eat
- Wash the Vietnamese mint or coriander leaves and the parsley leaves and spin dry
- De-seed the Asian red chilli and slice in fine rings
- Prepare the olive oil
- After the vegetables have been marinated for half hour, add the lemon pieces, all the leaves, the capers, sliced chilli, olive oil and black pepper. Mix gently
- Then prepare the soft boiled eggs just before serving: pierce with the big needle a small hole on each end of the eggs. Bring water to the boil and when boiling lower the eggs in the boiling water. Keep boiling for exactly 6 minutes
- After that immediately take the eggs out and cool in plenty of (running) water, to arrest the denaturation process of the yolk. This way the egg white is solid but the yolk remains a viscous liquid
- Serve with the optional feta dotted on top and place on each plate an egg broken in half. Finish off with more olive oil or pepper.