Here is a recipe I am so delighted to share with you. One that has been in my family for generations and generations on my Mom’s side of the family. Growing up, my mom and her family (who is of Italian decent) would make this celery salad as part of our antipasti platter for every gathering.
To think about this recipe getting past down from generation to generation makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Who knows how far back this simple, yet delicious, celery salad goes back but it’s one to really kick up your classic meat and cheese platter and wow your guests with something crunchy and delicious! It’s packed with flavor and oh-so easy to make!
In honor of Mother’s Day weekend, I thought it was very fitting to share this recipe. If there is any recipe that makes me think of my Mom, it’s this celery salad and her spaghetti and meatballs. I finally made my mom sit in the kitchen with me and measure out the ingredients so that I could share the family recipe with each of you. It was pure torture for her to have to measure each ingredient, as she is used to just “eyeballing” the recipe, but we did it and it is absolutely fabulous.
Now, for how to eat it! That’s up to you. My family uses sets little plates next to our antipasti platter so that everyone can make their own plates. I like to either eat mine with a spoon, or make little antipasti tacos. As a child, I’d take a big slice of provolone cheese, lay a few slices of salami on top, put a little celery salad in the middle, then fold it and eat it like a taco. Fantastic! You can also reserve the leftovers for throwing on top of big salads. It’s one of those things that just keeps getting better with time in the fridge!
- 8-10 large stalks of celery (about 4 cups, diced large)
- 4 cloves garlic
- 4 toothpicks
- 1 cup sliced Pepperoncini (from the jar), drained and roughly chopped
- 1/3 cup roasted red pepper from the jar, drained and very finely diced
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, or more to taste
- 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 tsp. kosher salt, or more to taste
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- Peel the celery (using a potato peeler) outer layer to remove the stringy bits from the celery. Then, rinse and use a paper towel to dry the celery.
- Trim the ends and cut the celery, lengthwise or long-wise, in half down the center, then, slice. (Or, alternatively, do a "large dice" on the celery.)
- Place the diced celery in a large bowl. Stick a toothpick into each of the cloves of garlic. (This helps make the garlic easy to find when serving.) Place the garlic in the bowl with the celery.
- Add the pepperoncini, roasted red pepper, and pepper. Toss to combine.
- Add the olive and toss until well combined.
- Add the kosher salt, toss to combine.
- Lastly, add the vinegar and toss it one last time to combine.
- Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving; however, it's best the next day. My mom usually makes this the day before a party and serves it with cured meats and cheeses on an antipasti platter. It keeps for up 5-7 days in the fridge.