Before enjoying the pear and cranberry crostata with my friends, we filled up on some other fall favorites. To start off the meal, we ate a crispy fall salad of apples, celery root, and shaved fennel. The salad contains some blue cheese and arugula, which makes it a bit heartier.
One half of a celery root, with the edges shaved clean
2-3 fresh and crispy apples (i.e. pink lady, fuji). Avoid mealy apples.
2 bulbs of fennel
5 oz of Blue cheese (Roquefort, Gorgonzola, or Bleu d’Auvergne would work well)
A few handfuls of arugula (like 2oz)
2 fresh lemon
2 tbsp neutral vegetable oil (i.e. canola)
2 tbsp olive oil
Freshly grated black pepper
- Cut the celery root into matchstick thin pieces. I find the celery root to be a bit too fibrous for the mandolin, so I do this with a sharp knife. Put the celery root into a bowl with the juice of half of a lemon and 2 pinches of salt. Let the celery root sit for approximately 15 minutes to allow the salt and lemon joice to tenderize the pieces.
- Chop off the fronds and trim the tough part outer skin of the fennel. Use a mandolin or a sharp knife to slice the fennel bulbs into thin curls. The fennel curls should be cut as thinly as possible, preferably about 1/32” thick. The fennel should be sliced horizontally to the base, as opposed to vertically.
- Cut the apples in half and remove the core. Use the mandolin or a sharp knife to thinly slice each half. Once again, the apples should be sliced as thinly as possibly. Add the apples to a bowl with the juice of half of a lemon. This will prevent the apples from oxydizing and turning brown.
- Once the celery root has slightly tenderized, add the sliced apples and sliced fennel to the bowl containing the celery root.
- Mix in the blue cheese. Do not overmix to ensure that the blue cheese does not dissolve into the salad. Keeping the cheese chilled will help out with this.
- Make the vinaigrette buy combining the juice of one lemon with a pinch of salt and some black pepper. Whisk in the canola oil and the olive oil. Keep the vinaigrette to serve over the salad right before serving.
- Right before serving, add the arugula to the salad, as well as the vinaigrette.
Notes: Walnut oil works quite well with the salad, so if you have some on hand, try substituting some of the olive oil with the nut oil.