This Fennel-Celery Salad with Figs and Blue Cheese is a delicate mix of fennel and celery with flavour bursts from shallots, figs, blue cheese and walnuts. Decidedly different, surprisingly delicious!
I found this recipe for Fennel-Celery Salad with Figs and Blue Cheese in Bon Appetit while curled up on the couch, randomly scrolling through recipes. It intrigued me, but the real reason I decided to make it was primarily practical. I wanted to use up items in my refrigerator! With a half bulb of fennel left from my Grapefruit-Orange Avocado Salad with Fennel and a wedge of blue cheese remaining from those yummy Blue Cheese Crostini with Crisp Honeyed Pear, it seemed a logical choice.
But while my motive was primarily to avoid wasting good food, I was surprised at how delicious this salad is. I wasn’t prepared for all the layers of flavour. Fennel-Celery Salad really doesn’t sound overly appealing. These are two vegetables that are often used just to perk up other more interesting dishes, and they rarely get their own top billing. But there is so much going on in this salad: sweet figs and salty cheese, crunchy nuts and celery, all drizzled with a tangy vinaigrette.
While I ate this for a weekday lunch, I’m flagging this recipe for my next dinner party. It’s just that interesting!
Another plus? Most of it can be made well in advance. Simply assemble the components and toss just before serving.
This Fennel-Celery Salad
- has interesting contrasting textures: creamy cheese, crunchy nuts, and crispy celery
- has contrasting flavours: sweet figs, salty celery and cheese, anise-flavoured fennel, tangy vinaigrette
- can be prepared ahead of time
- is a great way to add variety into your diet
- is different!
This Fennel-Celery Salad with Figs and Blue Cheese is a delicate mix of fennel and celery with surprising bursts of flavour from shallots, figs, blue cheese and walnuts.
- 1/4 cup walnuts coarsely chopped
- 3 dried Turkish figs coarsely chopped
- 1/4 medium shallot sliced thinly
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1/4 medium shallot finely chopped
- 1 tbsp grainy Dijon mustard
- 1/2 tsp honey
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 1/2 fennel bulb cored and sliced paper thin
- 4 stalks celery thinly sliced on diagonal
- 2 oz. blue cheese crumbled
Heat oven to 375°F and toast walnuts until lightly browned. Cool.
In a small bowl, combine figs, remaining 1/4 shallot (sliced) and 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar and let stand to soften while you prepare the rest of the salad.
Finely chop 1/4 of a shallot and combine with mustard, honey and 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar in a small jar with a lid. Shake and set aside.
Toss fennel, celery, blue cheese, and toasted walnuts in a medium bowl. Just before serving, drain figs and shallots and add to bowl. Drizzle with vinaigrette, toss and serve.
This recipe can be made ahead of time.
Make the vinaigrette the day before, cover and chill.
Soak the figs and shallots up to 4 hours ahead, cover and let stand at room temperature.
Slice the fennel and celery up to 4 hours ahead. Cover with a damp towel and refrigerate.
I used my mandolin slicer for creating paper thin slices of fennel in this recipe. It quickly (and evenly) slices fruit and vegetables and it’s one of my favourite kitchen tools.
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