Celery, Walnut, and Date Salad with Pecorino

  • 1 ¼ cups walnuts
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 2 TB sherry vinegar
  • 2 TB walnut oil
  • 2 TB fruity olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 bunches of celery
  • ¾ cup dates, quartered lengthwise
  • 3 oz Pecorino cheese, shaved with a vegetable peeler

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spread the walnuts on a small baking sheet or pie plate and toast in the oven for about 8 minutes until golden and fragrant. Let cool and then coarsely chop. In a small bowl, combine the shallot and sherry vinegar. Whisk in the oils, salt and pepper to taste. Trim the celery bunches and using a mandolin, slice the stalks on the diagonal into thin slices. In a large salad bowl, toss the toasted walnuts, celery, dates, and pecorino. Add the dressing, toss and serve right away.

From Food & Wine, November 2008