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
- 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.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.
I’ve never thought to combine crunchy celery with citrus, egg and herbs – what an incredible looking salad!
A fab flavor explosion that’s good for you, too. Thanks and have a great weekend Amanda. 🙂
I agree 100% that celery needs more time in the spotlight! It’s such an underused (and often underappreciated) veggie. This looks fabulous; layers of flavors that marry beautifully. And I love your use of sumac here!
Thanks Faith – Yea for celery! I been working on a way to use your kind gift in some sweets. More to come! Have a great weekend. 🙂
I love the addition of celery in this salad, Kevin! You’re right…celery totally gets the short end of the stick….err, stalk? I always seem to have leftover celery from pasta and potato salads, and I never know how to use it all. Clearly I just need to be making more salads like this for lunch. Looks delicious, my friend! #WolfpackCeleryLove
Short end of the stalk, love it. This would do the trick and put those leftover celery leaves to work! And if yo udon’t have the grapefruit handy, a lemon and a runny egg on top is perfection.
Salads like these can be my lunch or dinner! It very hot summer here in Saudi and I have started including cold salads for dinner these days. Like you said, the ingredients are all easily available, including the sumac 😉 I do almost similar salad minus the celery stalks and leaves, as our cuisine don’t really have much for it to do.. but I do pick it when I crave for indo-chinese food! Pinning this…
Thanks Famidha! This should easily keep you cool and filled over there in Saudi. I love Middle Eastern foods and spices, I hope you take a look around my site Famidha, lots of homemade spice blends too. Have a great day.
I’m not really one for cooked celery, but raw works for me nicely. I actually used to hate eating it as a kid! The grapefruit and egg here are perfection.
Thanks John. I find myself trying things time and again for foods I didn’t like as a kid and many are now ones I enjoy. Funny how our tastes change and develop. With lemon segments and a runny egg this is another winner, too.
This is definitely more than just a salad – I love the way you describe your recipes. Yotam Ottolenghi is such a great chef – I love his restaurants and never manage to just pass them as their window displays show the most gorgeous little cakes – so irresistible!
When I was last in London 5 years ago I had yet to here of Yotam and would love to return again for more exploring and go to one of his restaurants. Lucky you Miriam! Have a little cake for me! 🙂
Oh no…this is not just a salad. I would eat this morning, noon and night! So vibrant, crispy and delicious! I love the level that you’ve taken celery to! I bet it never felt so pretty! Well done, my friend!
Thank you Annie, this is just as good with lemon or orange segments, too. 🙂
I am all for salad for dinner, Kevin, especially when it’s one as beautiful as this one! You sure do know how to rock a salad, buddy! Celery is underrated, isn’t it? Love that you fixed that here! This beauty looks fresh and fabulous… and like it needs to get in my belleh ASAP. Pinned! Cheers – to a stellar long weekend!
Thank you Chey! Sometimes I forget about holiday weekends… I had so much fun the past week I completely forgot it’s already here. Better do something about that and get some ribs from the market.
We have a few family trips up to Portland coming up, so we will be in town. Hope your beach getaway is a fun one sans any rain. 🙂
Hey Kevin! You know I agree that celery is an underrated vegetable! I also agree with Dawn’s comment above that nothing should be wasted! This salad is so full of wonderful flavors and that egg is the crowning glory! I could and would eat this any time of day! 🙂
Isn’t it? So sad, but I plan to help give celery awareness! Thanks Dorothy. Yay for hearty salads! 🙂
I adore celery and use it often, coupled with black beans, but not with radishes – now this is one combo I’ve gotta try! Kevin, I adore big and bold flavors and textures in my salads too and am a huge fan of chef Yotam Ottolenghi – this is a fantastic salad – simply fantastic!
Thanks so much Shashi, the citrus pairs so well with celery and those capers add a little briny contrast. Who can resist!
What a unique salad, Kevin! I love recipes like this using ingredients together in unexpected ways. I bet that grapefruit in there is deadly! I don’t know if I’ve ever used sumac before, but I recently picked some up so it’s just sitting on my pantry shelf waiting to be used. I NEVER throw out celery leaves. I find that add so much flavour and always use this in the recipe when I’m using celery. Waste not, want not, right? I often used broccoli stalks too and shave them down into stir fry. Perfect Summertime salad for those warm days… Read more »
Thanks Dawn. Glad I could ignite the spark to bust out that sumac and check it out. I love it sprinkle don grilled chicken kabobs, on top of salads and hummus, too. Loved your hummus yesterday BTW, lovely.
Salads-whole meals are our kind of salads. This one sounds interesting and definitely bold. What a combo of celery, peppers, grapefruit, and capers, eh?! Nicely done, Kevin!
It’s a flavor explosion Ben and all good for you, too! I’ve served this with grilled chicken and shrimp which works great for Summertime grilling.