|Celery, green olive, and anchovy salad|
Sometimes you just know that you’re going to like a recipe.
Take this dish of celery, green olive and anchovy from Patricia Wells’s newest book Salad as a Meal. I knew the crispy celery and tart lemon juice would be refreshing. Add some brine (olives and anchovies) and a tad of heat (crushed red pepper), and it’s downright bracing.
Not to mention the colors are awfully pretty.
While it was designed to be a main course, the salad is perfectly amenable to sidekick status. It would pair nicely with another fish, in which case you could omit the anchovies. Or not. I’m thinking walleye cooked outside on the grill or even a mess of crappie, cornmeal dusted, fried Southern style. (This might shock the kinfolk who are expecting coleslaw.)
For a salad that will hold up under all that a picnic has to offer, choose this one. In fact, make it several hours before serving. A little more time allows the flavors to settle and work through the vinaigrette. I liked it even better the next day.
Don’t shy away from the pepper. The amount called for isn’t excessive—it is just enough to add a subtle warmth. And if your tastes run a bit racy, you could add a little more.
Celery, Green Olive and Anchovy Salad
adapted from Salad as a Meal by Patricia Wells
20 green pimiento-stuffed olives, drained (I chopped some, left some whole)
4 c celery, chopped
1 c parsley, minced
1 t fresh oregano minced (I used 1/2 t dried)
1/4 t red pepper flakes, or to taste
2 T lemon juice
4 T extra-virgin olive oil
16 anchovy fillets cured in vinegar and oil
Combine all ingredients except anchovies in a large bowl, tossing to blend. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours or up to 2 days. To serve, mound the salad on individual plates. Place 4 anchovies on top of each salad.