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Stalking a recipe that lets refreshing celery take center stage

| Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2012, 9:05 p.m.

There's so much to do with celery, it seems to get used up in no time.

For dipping, there's creamy blue cheese; for spreading, peanut butter and cream cheese. Sticks are great in lunches and for after-school snacking.

It gets chopped into so many soups, salads and side dishes that it's impossible to count. And what's better than a nice stalk sticking out of a Bloody Mary at brunch?

But it's pretty rare that celery becomes the feature, as it is in this dish where it's tossed with sliced apples for a crunchy, refreshing salad.

Green Apple and Celery Salad With Walnuts and Mustard Vinaigrette

Adapted from www.epicurious.com.

¼ cup fresh lemon juice

¼ cup Dijon mustard

5 teaspoons honey

23 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1 large bunch celery with leaves

Water

2 large Granny Smith apples, peeled, quartered, cored; each quarter cut into 2 wedges, then thinly sliced crosswise into triangle shapes

¾ cup walnuts, toasted and chopped

Whisk the first 3 ingredients in a small bowl to blend. Gradually whisk in the oil. Season the vinaigrette with salt and pepper.

Trim the celery leaves and chop enough to measure 1 cup. Thinly slice the stalks on a deep diagonal. Place the celery pieces in a bowl of cold water. (Vinaigrette, celery leaves and celery pieces can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover separately and refrigerate.)

Drain the celery; pat dry with paper towels. Combine the celery, celery leaves, apples and walnuts in a large bowl. Add the vinaigrette and toss to coat. Season the salad with salt and pepper.

Makes 8 servings.

Lisa Abraham is a staff writer for Akron Beacon Journal.

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