Sometimes lunch or even dinner around here can be just a salad, but not just a salad. Here in this healthy Citrus Pepper and Celery Salad, the underrated celery gets elevated with herbs, citrus, and other goodies you just must try. So good, this could be lunch or dinner on it’s own!
This Celery and Pepper Salad has quite a bit more going on than it’s humble title leads one to believe.
Frequent readers here know that if I’m posting a salad it’s got to be more then some mixed greens and a tasty dressing. I love salads that are a meal, big and bold in flavors, and layered with textures. This one is no different, and after getting inspired by a photo I saw, decided to put a twist on a classic from celebrated chef Yotam Ottolenghi.
While he used celery and green bell peppers I used red and green, added slivered radishes, switched out his use of lemon for the grapefruit I had on hand and marinated it with the lemony sumac. Thinly sliced red onions make an appearance as well as a tasty soft boiled egg to top it off.
This can be the perfect lunch as it can be made in now time and is a perfect side if in need of a full dinner meal, too.
I feel celery needs more attention. So many times it is left out of stir fries, is only seen in a mire poix, rounding out the trio of carrot and onion for soup and sauce bases or spread with peanut butter for a quick and easy appetizer snack. Simply sautéed with butter and slivered almonds is a heavenly and easy side, too. I love it in savory dishes and sliced in salads, but what often gets discarded and never thought of are the celery leaves!
These are packed with a subtle celery flavor that add a nuanced layer, are delicate in bite compared to the crunch of the stalk and are brilliant in yellow color. Mixed here with parsley and cilantro it rounds out the “salad” aspect here.
With the grapefruit segments I decided to add a punch of flavor with a sprinkle of ground sumac, which has a lemony flavor, but if you don’t have it in your pantry don’t worry! The citrus is fine as is, but please don’t skimp when it comes to adding the capers. Capers? Yes! These add that brine flavor that is essential and when combined with the crumbled feta cheese, this is a salad with major flavors.
I love this one with a really soft boiled egg, with the runny yolk drizzling down over the salad, but decided on something a little more toothsome and made them almost hard boiled. Feel free to have the egg any way you prefer.
I hope this one inspires you to look in your refrigerator, because you probably have most of the ingredients.
What I love about salads is that they can be so much more and don’t always need to have lettuce greens. In this one we use celery leaves with fresh herbs, capers, peppers and citrus. The chopped celery, peppers and onion get a little macerated with a sprinkle of sugar and salt, the grapefruit gets a punch of flavor from sumac (or maybe some lemon zest if you don’t have any sumac) and when all tossed together are topped with a wonderful soft boiled egg, a drizzle of olive oil and black pepper. Hope you enjoy!
Citrus Pepper and Celery Salad
- 4 celery stalks thinly sliced diagonally
- 1 red and green bell pepper thinly sliced into strips
- 1/2 medium red onion thinly sliced
- 4 radishes thinly sliced
- 1 tsp sugar
- 2 cups grapefruit segments
- 1 tsp sumac (or lemon zest optional)
- 2/3 cups celery leaves
- 1/2 cup cilantro leaves chopped
- 1/4 cup flat leaf parsley chopped
- 3 tbsp capers drained
- 1 jalapeno pepper diced
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup feta cheese crumbled
- kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper
- Place the sliced celery, bell peppers, red onion and radishes in a bowl, sprinkle with the sugar and a rich of kosher salt. Toss to mix well and set aside for 20 minutes.
- In a small bowl add the grapefruit segments and sumac (See Note #1) and toss to coat. Set aside.
- Add the grapefruit segments and the juice, celery leaves, herbs, capers, chiles (See Note #2), and olive oil to the softened vegetables. Stir to mix and season with salt an freshly cracked black pepper to taste.
- Gently peel the soft boiled egg (See Note #3) and break in half over the salad. Top with crumbled feta cheese crumbles, freshly cracked black pepper and a drizzle of olive oil.