Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Chinese Celery Salad with Sweet Hot Mustard Dressing

Celery is not an elegant veggie, and it's certainly rarely ever the centerpiece of any recipe. However, this appetizer/salad showcases celery - the trick is to cut off the stringy stuff beforehand so that you're not mindlessly chewing your cud later whilst partaking of this dish. You should also blanch the celery slices until they're just barely tender, not until they're the consistency of overcooked mashed peas. The mustard dressing is the key flavor component of this simple dish.

3 tbsp. sweet hot Chinese mustard
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. sugar
1 tbsp. rice vinegar
1 bunch of celery

1. Combine the mustard, salt, sugar & rice vinegar in a small bowl. Set aside.

2. Break off each celery stalk, then use a sharp paring knife to remove the stringy stuff from the top of each stalk. Cut the celery into 2" slices.

3. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Blanch the celery for 1-2 minutes or until tender, but not mushy.

4.  Remove the celery with a slotted spoon into a shallow dish or casserole. Toss with the mustard dressing, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight.

5. Arrange the cold celery slices on a plate and pour the mustard marinade over them. Garnish with a few sprigs of fresh cilantro on the side.

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