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Celery & Fennel Salad


½ cup pecans or walnuts
1 medium shallot, halved lengthwise, divided
2 tablespoons whole grain mustard
1 teaspoon sugar
½ cup red wine vinegar, divided
⅓ cup olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
6 dried figs, very coarsely chopped
1 fennel bulb, core removed, very thinly sliced
8 celery stalks, very thinly sliced
4 ounces gorgonzola cheese, crumbled


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Toast the nuts on a rimmed baking sheet, tossing once, until golden brown, 5 to 8 minutes. Let cool and chop.
  2. Mince 1 shallot half and thinly slice the other half crosswise. Combine the minced shallot with the mustard, sugar, and ¼ cup vinegar in a resealable jar. Add oil and season with salt and pepper. Cover and shake to emulsify; set vinaigrette aside.
  3. Toss the sliced shallot with figs and remaining ¼ cup vinegar in a small bowl. Let sit for at least 30 minutes or until figs and shallots are softened.
  4. Just before serving, toss fennel, celery, cheese, and toasted nuts in a large bowl. Drain figs and shallot and add to the bowl. Drizzle with vinaigrette and toss to coat; season with salt and pepper.