Sunday, July 31, 2011

Celery, Grilled Grape and Mushroom Salad

Okay, I better fess up that this salad cost over $40 to make! But that is probably because I bought all organic at Whole Foods. And also since the recipe was from the June, 2011 issue of Food and Wine magazine I should have known it would be a bit more on the pricy side. It was SUPER yummy though and is a great addition to a buffet. I made this for 4th of July and we had it with some steaks, grilled vegetables and other traditional salads (potato salad, coleslaw, etc.). It was a really classy addition to our dinner.

Also, this lasts surprisingly well as leftovers. Maybe I got lucky, but since there isn't too much lettuce there wasn't really anything to get soggy from the dressing.

I think the most fun part is that we grilled grapes. I know I've had grilled pineapple and peaches before, but grapes are novel. We just put them on the fire in a veggie basket and they cooked up great! ("We" really equals the guys who did the grilling and thought I was nuts.)

Celery, Grilled Grape and Mushroom Salad
6 servings

2 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
½ tsp. celery seeds
¼ tsp. Dijon mustard
2 small garlic cloves, minced
½ cup plus 1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
¼ cup roasted almond oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
½ cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
½ cup tender celery leaves (from one head)
¼ cup salted roasted almonds, chopped
1 pound king oyster mushrooms, sliced lengthwise ¼-inch thick
2 cups green grapes (12 ounces)
2 heads butter lettuce, leaves separated
2 cups very thinly sliced celery

In a small bowl, whisk the vinegar with the lemon juice, celery seeds, mustard and half of the garlic. Gradually whisk in ¼ cup of the olive oil and the almond oil until emulsified. Season the dressing with salt and pepper.

In a mini food processor, combine the remaining garlic with the parsley,c elery leaves and almonds nad pulse until finely chopped. Add another ¼ cup of the olive oil and puree to a chunky paste. Season the pesto with salt and pepper.

Light a grill. Brush the mushrooms with oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill over high heat, turning once, until tender and browned, about 5 minutes. In a bowl, toss the grapes with the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill over high heat until the skins begin to blacken in spots, about 3 minutes; line the grill with perforated foil if the grapes will fall through. Transfer the grapes and mushrooms to a large bowl and toss with the pesto.

Arrange the lettuce leaves on a platter and drizzle with half of the dressing. Spoon the mushroom-and-grape salad onto the lettuce. Toss the celery with the remaining dressing, spoon it on top and serve.