Celery, Walnut and Pecorino Salad 4.000

Renée Comet for The Washington Post

Plate Lab May 9, 2014

The secret behind the salad simply billed on Etto's menu as "Celery, Celery, Celery and Walnut" is the use of Chinese celery, which has thinner ribs and a stronger flavor and is not traditionally eaten raw.

The restaurant mixes the Chinese variety with conventional green celery -- plus sharp pecorino Romano cheese, tangy citrus, a heavy dose of premium olive oil and walnuts -- for something surprisingly sublime.

Where to Buy: Look for Chinese celery at a good Asian supermarket such as Lotte Plaza or H Mart.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 4 servings

  • 6 to 8 ribs green celery, peeled and thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
  • 1 cup pale celery leaves (from inside a bunch of green celery)
  • 10 ribs Chinese celery, thinly sliced (about 1 cup; see headnote)
  • 1 1/2 cups dark green Chinese celery leaves
  • 2 ounces aged pecorino Romano cheese, shaved into thin curls
  • 1/2 cup walnut halves, toasted and coarsely chopped (see NOTE)
  • 1/3 cup best-quality extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Toss together the celery and leaves, cheese, walnuts, oil, lemon and orange juices, salt and pepper in a bowl. Divide among individual plates.

Serve right away.

NOTE: Toast the nuts in a small, dry skillet over medium-low heat, shaking the pan to avoid scorching, until the nuts are fragrant and lightly browned. Cool completely before using.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from a recipe by chef Peter Pastan, co-owner of Etto on 14th Street NW.

Tested by Joe Yonan.

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