Slivered Celery Salad with Blue Cheese Dressing from EatingWell Magazine, January/February 2012

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Always the bridesmaid; never the bride.

That’s the fate of poor celery. It’s a corner in the trinity that makes up the mirepoix. It’s added to just about every soup or stew, whether directly or having been included in the making of the chicken, vegetable or beef stock. It’s added as a vehicle to every party tray that includes a dip.

When it’s not being used as an add-in, celery becomes the lazy-man’s exercise. For years it’s been touted that chewing on a stalk uses up more calories than said stock contains (that’s not proven, by the way). Sales of celery sky rocket during the month following New Year’s. Ok, that’s not true (I don’t think), but it sounds good and it makes sense.

To add insult to injury, poor celery is served alongside one of the U.S.’s most popular game snack; wings. It’s there simply to play the role of fire department to that three-alarm blaze you’re about to bite into.

But can’t you picture it? Close your eyes and see that basket of wings. Look at that little container of blue cheese dressing. It’s marbled with hot sauce isn’t it. You couldn’t resist dunking one of those drumettes in there, could you. Who can?

Imagine, if you will, a salad inspired by that picture. And, for once, celery plays the star.

The Process
It doesn’t get much more simple than this. Slice celery and scallions. Whisk together buttermilk, Greek yogurt, hot sauce and salt. Add the celery, scallions and some crumbled blue cheese to the sauce. Garnish with more blue cheese and scallions. You’re done.

The Verdict
Just so you know, this does not make 6 servings. There is no way you’ll be able to eat just 2/3 cup. It’s really, really good. And it’s a fantastic idea. There are a few things I’d have done differently (see below), but the concept of this salad is wonderful. Since neither Dudette nor Hubby do blue cheese, it was mine, all mine!

What I’d Do Different Next Time
I would have preferred the sauce a little thicker so I would use 1/4 cup buttermilk instead of the full 1/2 cup. I would also use wing sauce instead of hot sauce. While eating, I couldn’t taste the sauce because of the strength of flavor coming from the blue cheese, yogurt and buttermilk. I knew it was there because I could feel it though. Using wing sauce, which has additional flavor elements, would bump up that taste value. I would also lightly stir in the wing sauce after having whisked everything else so that marbled look would be there. It’s such a great idea.

Slivered Celery Salad with Blue Cheese Dressing - print this recipe
from EatingWell Magazine, January/February 2012

1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup low-fat plain Greek yogurt
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 cups diagonally sliced celery (1/4 inch)
1/4 cup chopped tender celery leaves
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons diagonally sliced scallions, divided
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese, divided

Whisk buttermilk, yogurt, hot sauce and salt in a medium bowl.

Add celery, celery leaves, 1/2 cup scallions and 1/4 cup cheese; fold until blended. Serve sprinkled with the remaining scallions and cheese.

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