Recipe: Gabrielle Hamilton's Shaved Celery, fennel and Radishes Salad with Buttered Valdeon Toasts

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1 head of celery, tough outer stalks removed, well rinsed
2 medium heads fennel, stalks and fronds removed
2 bunches scallions, approximately 15 pieces, root end removed and 1st outer layer peeled off with your fingers.
1/3 pound sugar snap peas, stem end removed and the thread at the seam peeled
2 bunches red radishes, tops removed and well washed
5 cloves fresh garlic, peeled
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup plus 1 Tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
coarse kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
8 ounces Valdeon cheese, crumbled or shaved
4 ounces sweet butter, at room temperature
4 long slices of fresh baguette

With a sharp knife, thinly slice the celery and then the fennel and toss together.  Sliver the scallions and sugar snap peas on a bias and add to the fennel and celery.  With a sharp knife or mandolin, thinly slice the radishes and add to the salad.

Grate the garlic on a microplaner or mince well.  Mix together garlic, oil and lemon juice and dress the salad.  Season with salt and pepper to taste and toss well. Let stand.

Toast the baguette slices and spread each with an ounce of the butter.  Divide the cheese among the four buttered toasts.

Toss and taste the salad again before portioning, add salt if necessary. Serve with the Valdeon toasts.


From Gabrielle Hamilton, chef and owner of Prune