Mushroom, Celery and Parmesan Salad
- Servings: 4.
Sometimes the most satisfying salad is one made with only two or three ingredients and dressed with just enough oil and vinegar to bring out the best of the vegetables.
In this simple combination, white mushrooms are sliced thin and combined with equally thin pieces of crispy celery plus the tender leaves from the celery's inner stalks. Use a vegetable peeler to create paper-thin curls of salty Parmesan and dress with a plain red wine vinegar dressing.
The lightness of this salad makes it a perfect first course to precede a hearty main course.
- 3/4 pound white button mushrooms. Try to select very white, firm, unblemished ones.
- 1 bunch celery -- the full stalks, not celery hearts
- 1 piece of Parmigiano-Reggiano
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Fresh ground black pepper
- Use a damp paper towel to clean the mushrooms, wiping off any dirt or debris. Do not place mushrooms under water because they're sponge-like and will absorb the water and get soggy.
- Use a small knife to cut off the stems and any marks and slice the mushrooms into uniform 1/4-inch slices. Place in a salad bowl.
- Remove the base of the celery and separate the stalks. Rinse them to remove any dirt and dry completely with a clean kitchen towel or paper towels.
- Starting with the inner stalks first, cut the celery into 1/4 to 1/2-inch slices, enough to have as much celery as you have mushroom slices.
- Include the inner leaves from the celery stalk, especially the tender, light green leaves.
- Toss to combine the mushroom and celery slices and leaves together.
- In a small bowl combine the vinegar, salt and pepper. Use a fork to stir until the salt dissolves. Add the olive oil and whisk with the fork until the dressing is combined. Taste and adjust to make sure the vinaigrette is a good balance of oil, acid from the vinegar and the salt and pepper.
- Drizzle the dressing over the bowl of mushrooms and toss to combine.
- Using a vegetable peeler, cut about a half-cup of paper-thin curls from the wedge of Parmigiano-Reggiano and scatter over the top of the salad.
- Serve immediately.