The Asian celery and fennel salad in Joanne Chang's new cookbook, Flour, Too, isn't actually a recipe used in the bakery. Instead, the recipe comes from Myers+Chang: her southeast Asian diner in Boston's South End, co-owned with husband Christopher Myers. Still, the salad's bright dressing and playful mix of vegetables feel right at home alongside the bakery's staples. It's an easy dish to throw together (once you've candied the lemon to make the dressing, of course), and is pretty enough for a first course at a dinner party.
Why I picked this recipe: I may be one of the few, but I love celery salad. And celery salad amped up with a soy-sesame-sriracha dressing is even more my cup of tea.
What worked: This here is a striking salad—between the crisp vegetables, tangy-spicy dressing, and creamy edamame, each bite is new and exciting.
What didn't: The scale of the candied lemon recipe and the salad dressing recipe don't match up. (The lemon recipe makes 75 grams and the dressing recipe calls for 500 grams.) I missed this discrepancy when making the candied lemon, so I just went ahead and made the dressing with one batch. It seemed like plenty to me. You also won't need the entire bowl of dressing.
Suggested tweaks: Clearly, the amount of candied lemon can be tweaked. I'd also be interested to try this using candied lime instead of lemon. Chang says in the intro that the vegetables can be changed to suit the seasons or your taste. I'd add that choosing crisp, crunchy items would be the way to go (cucumbers instead of tender lettuce, for example).
Reprinted with permission from Flour, Too: Indispensable Recipes for the Cafe's Most Loved Sweets and Savories by Joanne Chang. Copyright 2013. Published by Chronicle Books. All rights reserved. Available wherever books are sold.
- Yield:Serves 6
- Active time: 20 minutes
- Total time:2 hours and 20 minutes (including candied lemon prep)
- 1/2 cup (120 ml) rice vinegar
- 6 tablespoons (90 ml) soy sauce
- 1/3 cup (70 grams) granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons Sriracha sauce
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 18 ounces (500 grams) candied lemon, coarsely chopped
- 8 celery stalks, thinly sliced
- 1 medium fennel bulb, leafy tops trimmed and bulb quartered, then thinly sliced on the mandoline
- 3 medium shallots, thinly sliced
- 2 cups (280 grams) frozen edamame beans, thawed
- Leaves from 10 to 12 fresh flat-leaf parsley sprigs
- 1 tablespoon white sesame seeds for garnish
- 1 tablespoon black sesame seeds for garnish
To make the dressing: In a medium bowl, whisk together the vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, Sriracha sauce, sesame oil, salt, pepper, and candied lemon.
To assemble the salad: Put the celery, fennel, shallots, edamame, and parsley in a large bowl. Pour the dressing over the vegetables and toss until well combined. Divide equally among six bowls and sprinkle evenly with the black and white sesame seeds. Serve immediately.