Amazing Appetizer

I believe in using the good china. The good crystal. Drinking the champagne.

This appetizer is so delicious, and easy to prepare, it cries out to be served on a holiday: Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, Valentine’s Day. But for me, every day is a holiday. So get out your good china. Your good crystal. Abd uncork that bottle of champagne!

Here’s the recipe with my changes noted:

Reading from The New York Times:

“This was the first recipe that the chef and writer Gabrielle Hamilton brought to The Times as an Eat columnist for the Sunday magazine in 2016, a snack-tray-sandwich version of a celery-and-fennel salad served at her restaurant, Prune, in the East Village. It calls for thick, white toasted Pullman bread spread wall to wall with unsalted butter, with slices of blue cheese neatly laid on top, below a mound of shaved celery and thinly sliced scallions dressed in garlic, olive oil, lemon juice and salt, and the whole shebang dusted in ground black pepper before being cut in halves or quarters. ‘The ingredients come from the grocery store,” she wrote in her column. “These toasts are not expensive or intimidating, but they are outstanding.'”

Ingredients

  • 2 slices country white Pullman bread, 1/2-inch thick (I used Italian bread.)
  • Sweet butter
  • 4 ounces Cambozola triple-cream blue cheese, sliced, divided evenly between two toasts (I used Blue Cheese from Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company. So delicious!)
  • 1 cup shaved celery, from the inner head, toughest outer stalks removed, thinly sliced on the bias (I also used many leaves.)
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced on bias all the way up from the white through the green
  • 1 large clove garlic (I did not use any garlic.)
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Lemon juice
  • Kosher salt
  • Several grinds black pepper

Preparation

  1. Toast the bread to golden. Butter generously, “wall to wall.” Lay cheese slices on top of buttered toast, neatly, evenly. (I toasted the bread in the oven.)
  2. In a small bowl, stir together the celery and the scallions. Microplane the garlic into the celery mixture.
  3. Dress with olive oil, lemon juice and salt, and stir very well, until completely dressed, almost wet with dressing.
  4. Mound the shaved celery salad evenly on top of the blue-cheese toasts, and grind black pepper over them very generously. Cut each in half or quarters. (I put the toasts back in the warm oven to slightly melt the cheese.)

I served this with lentil ham soup.

A few days later I made celery toasts again. This time I added a few chopped blue cheese stuffed green olives.

These served with roast chicken.

Bon Appetit!

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