This salad was not included in The Myrtlewood Cookbook, but only because we just had too many salads. Any ingredient overlap, and the axe was drawn. This one had two: celeriac and fennel. During a cutting session, Sofie said “You really think everyone is going to want to trim celeriac into matchsticks and fennel into boomerangs for two salads?” We had a cartoonishly large amount of salad recipes at the end of the shoots– twice as much as any other category. It really didn’t make any sense to have two celeriac/fennel salads in the same small section. I think the heavy use of citrus also put it out of the running, as you sure as hell can’t grow it in in the PNW. When I made this salad again recently, I thought perhaps all winter salads should have citrus in them. And celeriac. And fennel.
- 1 celeriac
- 1 fennel bulb
- 3 blood oranges
- 1 large navel or cara cara orange
- olive oil
- almonds, a handful
- almond oil (if you have it)
- tarragon white wine vinegar
Prepare a big bowl with cold water. Drop in some lemon juice from a bottle or a fruit. Peel the celeriac. Drop into the lemon bath immediately.
Trim the fennel (reserving the tops with fronds) and slice into thin boomerangs. Move them to the lemon bath. Take out the celeriac, cut it in half, put the other half back. Keep cutting the celeriac now into thin-to-medium matchsticks. Moving the finished ones to the lemon bath, then repeat with the second half of the vegetable.
Cut the oranges into 1/4 inch rounds. Trim off the peels with a paring knife. Cut little triangular pieces, removing center seeds and any remaining pith so you have clean and beautiful jewels of citrus.
Drain the lemon bath, add more lemon juice, a splash of tarragon white wine vinegar and almond (or olive) oil. Toss to dress.
Chop the handful of almonds roughly, just making sure some pieces are quite small.
Assemble each serving separately. Take the celeriac and fennel pieces, make a nice pile, add pieces of orange, sprinkle with some almonds and drizzle with some good olive oil Crack on black pepper, toss on some finishing salt, then tear fennel fronds over the whole thing.