New produces comes slowly to the Northern Hinterlands. It was only six years ago that I bought golden beets for the first time. Red celery, which made a splash in 2010, is now available locally. I bought mine from Immerfrost Farm, located about 30 miles to the north.
Red celery is crunchier and more flavorful than its common green counterpart, at least to my taste buds. I immediately began thinking of crunchy pairings: A tart apple, some roasted pecans. Next came contrast - chewiness - in the form of dried cranberries (although cherries would work just as well).
Something was still missing: Some additional chewy ingredient that would add salt and sweet. I think I found it in bacon. Try it, and tell me what you think.
Red Celery Salad
- 1 bunch red celery, washed and chopped
- 1 small tart or sweet apple, chopped (I used Jazz, but what about Granny Smith?)
- 1/3 cup roasted pecans, sugared
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries or cherries
- 1/5 cup bacon bits (best if fresh, but packaged will do)
- Dash sea salt
- 2 teaspoons brown sugar
- One half cup mayonnaise
- 1/2 tablespoon orange juice concentrate
- Dash cinnamon
Toss celery with apple, nuts, cranberries and bacon. Season with enough salt to provide contrast to the sweetness of the brown sugar.
I'd serve this with pork or turkey. It could easily become a Thanksgiving side dish. I'd certainly prefer this crunchy option to green beans with cream-of-mushroom soup!