Step One: Admit I have a really out of control habit of buying food magazines and rarely sitting down to read them.
Step Two: Recognize the problem
Step Three: Do something about it!
For all of you who think that the easiest thing to do would be to stop buying the magazines…you are wrong! We addicts can’t just quit cold turkey but have to be weaned slowly or be offered some alternative activity. A couple of weeks ago, as I was browsing some of my favourite blogs, I hit upon an alternative activity and the perfect answer to Step Three. The Bitten Word (who obviously suffer from the same bad habits I do) offered a challenge to their readers to cook all 47 dishes from the October 2013 issue of Bon Appétit. The recipes span a great range of ‘easy/beginner’ to ‘really out there’. The challenge was simple; sign up, receive your assignment, shop for ingredients and make the dish within the next week.
I was lucky to find beautiful fresh California dates from Basha International Foods. They are the only fruit that you can leave out on the counter that gets BETTER as it ages.
Simple? Hmmm a week is not much time especially since this week was back to school and the Calgary Blogger Bake Sale. Good thing the dish I was assigned to took me all of ten minutes to make and photograph.
This Celery with Dates, Almonds, and Parmesan Salad was really simple to make, has a wow! crunch factor and it looks pretty too. It makes perfect sense as it ticks all the boxes. Sweet (dates), Salty, Sour (lemon), bitter (celery), and finally Umami (shaved Parmesan).
It would be a perfect salad, if only I liked celery…maybe it will help me to like celery?
Check out the other entries for the challenge…here.
Celery with Dates, Almonds, and Parmesan Salad
- ½ cup raw almonds
- 8 celery stalks, thinly sliced on a diagonal, leaves separated
- 6 dates, pitted, coarsely chopped
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 ounces Parmesan, shaved
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Crushed red pepper flakes
Preheat oven to 350°. Spread out almonds on a small rimmed baking sheet; toast, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, 8–10 minutes. Let cool; coarsely chop.
Toss almonds, celery, celery leaves, dates, and lemon juice in a medium bowl; season with salt and pepper. Add Parmesan and oil and toss gently; season with red pepper flakes.