Following up on yesterday’s post about English bangers and mash, today I’m sharing a recipe for this really delicious celery, apple and mint slaw. It’s a tart, crunchy accompaniment that lightens up an otherwise very “stodgy” meal, as the Brits would say (stodgy being super heavy and weighty).
When I first started making bangers and mash at home, I always felt like something was missing from the equation. I always prefer to have at least one or two veggie dishes with any meat and carbs, but a plainly dressed green salad just seemed too plain.
The thing is, most good home cooks know that pork and apples go together like — well, peanut butter and jelly. Or soy sauce and sushi. The sweetness of apples balances the gaminess of the pork. I love making pork tenderloins with roast apples (like this ultra-healthy recipe here).
You’re probably wondering by now how to get your celery and apples into these nice little matchsticks without breaking a sweat. Here’s my secret: I use a mandolin slicer. A mandolin slicer is a wonderful addition to any kitchen, giving you perfect cuts and nice, thin slices. I slice my apples with the mandolin, then use my trusty chef’s knife to cut the slices into long, thin strips (julienne) (for more tips on what types of knives I recommend using, see here).
The only thing I have to warn you about is that a mandolin slicer is crazy sharp. I’m actually a little bit afraid of mine, having accidentally taken off chunks of my fingers before when I’ve gotten too hasty. The problem with the mandolin slicer is this: as you slice whatever veggie you’re working on, you get kind of giddy seeing these nice, even, perfect slices shooting out from underneath the slicer. You might get so giddy, in fact, that you forget that as you’re slicing, your fingers are getting closer and closer to the blade, until finally a part of your finger gets nicked in a small but incredibly bloody cut that hurts like a thousand paper cuts.
The lesson here is: do not ever, ever forget that veggies get smaller as they are sliced. I know this seems obvious. I know I should know better.
As for the celery, it’s pretty easy to use your chef’s knife to cut the celery into long, thin strips, then cut them down into finger-length thinner strips. If you mess up, just cut them even thinner. Celery is forgiving in that way.
For this salad, I mixed together some lemon juice, lemon zest and olive oil, then mixed in some finely minced fresh mint. I drizzled this concoction over my neatly-chopped matchstick celery and apples, et voila! Celery, apple and mint slaw!
I really love the crunchiness of this celery, apple and mint slaw, and it’s something I see being a staple on our table as the weather warms up and we find ourselves craving lighter veggie dishes. Besides, I eat veggies during the week to justify the massive amounts of cheese we’re consuming on the weekends now. That’s actually one of the best parts about living in London — easy access to affordably-priced, delicious European cheese. It’s so good that it’s actually not good (for my wallet or my health).
But that hasn’t stopped me yet…
- 2 stalks celery
- 2 tart apples (like Braeburn or gala)
- ½ bunch mint, rinsed and minced (about ¼ cup)
- Juice and zest of 1 lemon
- ½ cup olive oil
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Rinse and julienne the celery into thin matchsticks.
- Using a mandolin slicer, thinly slice the apple, then cut the slices into matchsticks as well (you can do all of this with a knife if you don't have a mandolin slicer).
- Toss together the celery and apple in a large bowl.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon, olive oil and mint. Season with salt and pepper.
- Drizzle the dressing over the celery and apple, tossing a bit to coat. Serve immediately.