Don’t Knock It ‘Til You Try It

Celery, Apple, Raisin Salad-Duo Dishes

Not every food combination floating around in the world sounds too appetizing.  We will admit that although we do enjoy a wide variety of foods, there are some things that do not make the taste buds tingle.  Horseradish and pineapple sauce, mayonnaise and banana sandwiches, and Doritos dipped in fluff, for example, are not up there with must-have treats.  And trust us, you can Google all three of those and find someone (or many someones) who will rave about how good they are as snacks.  A few months ago, we took another class at Hipcooks–this time as students, not assistants.  It was all about salads, salads, salads.  One of them was a celery, date and parmesan salad, which for some reason, did not immediately appeal to us.  After a couple of bites, we were of changed mind!  A few weeks after that day, we wanted to come up with a similar salad that combines the crunch of celery with the sweetness of dried fruit.  We brainstormed and came up with something very elementary–elementary school, that is.

Have you ever had ants on a log?  Crisp, cool celery sticks slathered with creamy peanut butter and dotted with sweet raisins?  That was a big treat back in the day!  Parents really thought they were tricking us into eating healthy snacks with that one.  What if you could bring back that flavor combination in a salad?  A crunchy, sweet salad with spicy peanut butter dressing.  For some folks, it may sound…well…gross.  Honestly, it was off the chains!  It’s great as a side salad, but if you decided to toss it with grilled chicken, shrimp, tofu or noodles we wouldn’t be mad.  There are a lot of really distinct flavors that harken back to Thai food, so if you’re a fan of Thai, you’ll probably love it as much as we did.  And as the story goes with most dressings, feel free to play with the sweet, spice and sour levels as you please.  Here goes another one for Deb’s Soup, Salad and Sammie Sundays!

Celery, Apple and Raisin Salad with Peanut Dressing – Serves 2-4

6 celery stalks, dethreaded and bias cut
1/2 cup raisins, roughly chopped
2 apples, peeled and chopped
Juice of 1 lime
1/2 cup peanuts, chopped

3 tablespoons peanut butter
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/3 cup grapeseed oil
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon mirin
1/2 teaspoon sriracha
1 tablespoon agave nectar
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped
1/2 serrano pepper, deseeded and minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
Juice 1/2 lime
Kosher salt

1.  Toss celery, raisins and apples together in a bowl with lime juice.  Set aside.

2.  In a blender or with a whisk, combine ingredients for salad dressing.  Mix well.  Salt to taste if necessary.

3.  Drizzle vinaigrette over fruit and veggies and sprinkle with extra peanuts.  Serve immediately.

Click HERE for the printable recipe.

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36 thoughts on “Don’t Knock It ‘Til You Try It

  1. Good thoughts and piece here…I google combination’s sometimes when I get an idea, and it is amazing what you find out there…I see I have a lot of blog catching up to do on here! This pics are making crazy hungry…

  2. As soon as you referenced ants on a log, I knew I had to try this! That was my favorite childhood snack. What a clever, more sophisticated version of a delish treat!

  3. Ants-on-a-log is not something I grew up with and only heard of when I wrote a post on celery a few months back. I wasn’t so convinced that it would be something I wanted to eat, but this salad, that’s another matter entirely – definitely wouldn’t dream of knocking it until I tried it!

  4. I actually made your salad the other day after seeing the recipe. I admit, I was in a hurry and used some store bought vidalia onion vinaigraitte. But I loved the salad. It was a great change up to my salad for lunch menu.

  5. okay first off, that salad looks delicious! and I love that you guys kept it simple especially with the dressing. Simple salads is the way to go!

  6. Haha this is an interesting combo! When we were younger my sister and I used to mix all kinds of crazy things together and feed the concoction to our poor little brother 🙂

  7. I love this!! I think dates and raisins add such a great little sweet zing to so many dishes, so this is right up my alley.

    And if we’re talking about weird food combos, I had this big crush on a guy in college who ate cream cheese and olive sandwiches all the time, so I pretended I loved them too. They’re not bad, but definitely uh… not great.

  8. Yummy! This sounds like a great salad and the combo would work! I used to chow on pb on celery as a kid – my mom didn’t have to bribe me with ants, but I’ll eat it that way too:) This would be a hard salad to stop eating.

  9. I remember ants on a log!! That salad actually sounds good!! You guys are so creative.

    …Doritos with fluff?? I think if I’m going to give myself a heart attack, I’d rather do it with a cheeseburger 🙂

  10. Looks delicious–I haven’t had ants on a log in ages. Thanks for sending it to Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays–I’ll add it to this weeks round-up.

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