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http://www.lifestylefood.com.au/recipes/12476/stracciatella-with-celery-herb-salad-and-celery-leaf-pesto

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Stracciatella with Celery Herb Salad and Celery Leaf Pesto

Decade after decade, Nancy Silverton has revolutionised American fast food. First it was the sandwich, made with artisanal breads, then the pizza, saved from disgrace by wood-fired ovens and rustic, organic toppings. Watch as she reinvents three American ‘fast food’ favourites for us with first-rate ingredients and a canny cook’s sixth sense for balance, flavour and harmony. Fast food? Yes. Junk food? Never.

Ingredients

  • for the celery leaf pesto:

  • 1/8 cup pine nuts

  • ½ large clove of garlic, peeled

  • ¼ cup of fresh flat leaf parsley

  • ½ cup tender celery leaves

  • 1/8 sp kosher salt

  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil

  • 1/8 cup freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano

  • zest of ½ lemon

  • juice of ½ lemon

  • For the vinaigrette

  • 3 tbsp champagne vinegar

  • lemon juice

  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

  • ½ shallot, finely chopped

  • ½ tsp kosher salt

  • freshly cracked black pepper

  • For the herb salad

  • ¼ cup whole fresh chervil leaves

  • ¼ cup whole fresh tarragon leaves

  • ¼ cup whole fresh flat leaf parsley leaves

  • ¼ cup snipped fresh chives

  • ¼ cup whole tiny fresh basil leaves

  • 1/8 cup peeled and diagonally sliced celery

  • 1/8 cup diagonally sliced green onions

  • sea salt

  • 4½ inches thick slices sourdough bread

  • extra virgin olive oil, or melted butter for the bread

  • 1 garlic clove, peeled

  • 450g stracciatella cheese, divided into four pieces

Method

  • To prepare the pesto:

  • 1.

    Preheat oven to 160C. Spread the pine nuts on a baking sheet, and toast for eight-ten minutes, until lightly browned.

  • 2.

    Using a mortar and pestle, pulverise the pine nuts, garlic, parsley, celery leaves,and salt into a smooth paste, (or finely chop the ingredients and smash with a knife to puree).

  • 3.

    Slowly drizzle in the olive oil and add the cheese, mixing well to incorporate.

  • 4.

    Just before serving, add the lemon juice and lemon zest, and season to taste with salt. Set aside.

  • To prepare the vinaigrette:

  • 1.

    In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, lemon juice, olive oil and shallot.

  • 2.

    Season with salt and pepper to taste.

  • To prepare the herb salad:

  • 1.

    Combine the chervil, tarragon, parsley, chives, basil, celery and green onions in a bowl. Season with sea salt and toss well.

  • 2.

    Add a conservative amount of vinaigrette to the salad, just enough to moisten, and toss

  • To assemble:

  • 1.

    Brush each slice of bread with olive oil or melted butter, and toast the bread on a grill press or in the oven until lightly brown. Rub one side of each slice of bread with a garlic clove.

  • 2.

    Divide the stracciatella among the bread (about 110g each) in a way that it looks strewn across the bread, not spread flat or piled in one place. Season stracciatella with sea salt to taste.

  • 3.

    Spoon two tablespoons celery leaf pesto over the cheese.

  • 4.

    Scatter the herb salad evenly over the stracciatella.

  • 5.

    Serve immediately.

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