Serves 6 to 8
This is a tasty, quick-to-prepare version of an old favorite. Use whatever crisp apples you have on hand, and avoid the mushy ones. You can substitute low-fat or nonfat plain yogurt for part of the mayonnaise.
• 4 large stalks celery
• 2 large or 3 medium apples
• 1/4 to 1/3 cup currants (substituted dried cherries or cranberries, if you like)
• About 1/2 cup toasted and coarsely chopped pecans, walnuts or almonds
• About 2/3 cup mayonnaise
• 2 pinches salt, optional
• 1 to 2 teaspoons maple syrup or sugar
• 2 to 3 teaspoons vanilla vinegar (see recipe at left)
1. Scrub celery and cut into 3/8-inch slices. Scrub apples, peel if desired (I generally buy organic and don’t peel them), remove core and seeds and cut into 1/4-inch slices. Toss celery and apple together in a bowl. Add currants and nuts and toss.
2. In a separate small bowl, combine mayonnaise, salt, syrup or sugar and vanilla vinegar and blend well. Toss dressing with celery and apple until coated and taste for seasoning; adjust with a little more mayo, sugar or vinegar. It should be tangy with a hint of sweetness. Let stand for 10 or 15 minutes before serving or refrigerate until almost ready to serve and then allow the salad to come to cool room temperature before serving.
Susan Belsinger is a culinary herbalist and author of several cooking and gardening books. Her most recent contribution to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s All-Region Guide is now available in Designing an Herb Garden (Sterling Publishing, 2004).
Click here for the original article, The Queen of Beans: Vanilla Recipes .