Well, it’s not that different, I guess, since the main ingredients are celery and cheese. But if the Perilli-inspired dish I wrote up a couple of weeks ago is more about the cheese, this one is much lighter, crisper and – just a little bit – sweeter.
This was the side dish I served when I made that Indian-ish soup with Swiss Chard and Lentils. What I had in mind was something crispy and crunchy, to balance the earthy flavors of the soup. I also thought sweet would work, since the soup was on the spicy side.
I used only the center, tender and sweet heart of the celery, slicing it thinly on the diagonal. I then took the last of some very delicious dates my friend Arelene had given me and slivered them into thin strips. A few shavings of pecorino, and a lemony vinaigrette, and that was that.
I can already envision endless variations on the cheese/fruit front. Dried Cherries and Cheddar. Raisins and Fontina. The only constant is, of course, the celery. Which I guess is starting to shift from it’s former role in my repertoire as side kick, to star of the show.
celery, date and pecorino salad
1 head of celery, tender inner stalks only.
3-4 dried dates
1/4 cup pecorino shavings (sorry, don’t quite know how to measure shavings. Use as much as you want)
3 tablespoons of olive oil
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
Thinly slice the celery heart on the diagonal, into thin slices. Lay on platter.
Slice the dates into slivers. Scatter on top of celery.
Using a potato peeler, shave off slices of pecorino over the salad.