2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
8 ribs celery, very thinly sliced crosswise
2-ounce chunk Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Additional salad ingredients, as desired (fennel, sliced mushrooms, fruit, nuts, etc.)
In a medium bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice and mustard. Season with salt and pepper, then add the sliced celery. Toss well to coat, then divide the celery between 2 serving plates.
Use a vegetable peeler to shave some of the cheese over each serving, then add additional salad ingredients as desired. Mushrooms, pluots and fennel make an excellent combination with this celery base.
Cook's note: A food processor is the fastest way to thinly slice large amounts of celery, but a mandoline does a better job of getting the slices as thin as possible. The trouble is that it is almost impossible to use the hand guard of the mandoline when slicing celery. Some kitchen shops sell safety gloves for slicing, which can help. Another way to make it easier is to hold several celery stalks together (nestled into one another) when slicing.
Nutrition values per serving: 280 calories, 22 g fat (6 g saturated), 9 g carbohydrate, 4 g fiber, 4 g sugar, 12 g protein, 20 mg cholesterol, 920 mg sodium.
Elizabeth Karmel for The Associated Press