In case you haven't heard, there was a football game yesterday. For those of us who live in Boston and grew up in New York, the Patriots-Giants Super Bowl matchup was a tricky one. My husband, conveniently out of town, rooted for the Pats.
My son, who had nine other 5th grade boys over to enjoy the game with him (are you feeling for me now?), rooted for the Giants. Fortunately, there were at least two other New York fans in the room. There's safety in numbers. My daughter cheered for the Patriots. And I was too busy serving Doritos and pizza to worry about a silly old game.
The preparation for our Super Bowl party (remember, male 11-year-olds only) was fairly straightforward. We bought mylar balloons to spread around, taped some pennants to the wall (both teams were well represented) and loaded up on some game day junk food and soda. For the record, I did put out grapes and water as well.
It was all pretty easy until the kitchen faucet broke off in my hand on Friday night as I was doing the dinner dishes. Not particularly auspicious. I called our plumber, and after briefly thinking I could just use the laundry room sink downstairs for the entire weekend, recovered my sanity and had him come Saturday at double the hourly rate. It was worth every penny.
I have a new favorite salad from Ina Garten's "Barefoot Contessa how easy is that?" cookbook. This salad is all about celery and it's delicious. I love celery and I know it's very low calorie and packs a good amount of fiber. But admittedly, it requires some ingenuity. This works. Even in the winter, I find this simple salad very refreshing and I think it will be even better in the summer.
As a critical part of a day after game day detox, it's perfect. I usually skip the shallots, and don't need as much dressing as this makes, but I'm including the entire recipe here. See what you think.
Celery and Parmesan Salad (Ina Garten)
1/2 cup good olive oil
2 tsp grated lemon zest
1/4 cup plus 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp minced shallots
1 tsp celery seed
1/2 tsp celery salt
1/2 tsp anchovy paste
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
5 cups thinly sliced celery hearts, tender leaves included, sliced on an angle (about 12 stalks)
4 oz chunk aged parmesan cheese
2/3 cup toasted walnuts, coarsely chopped
Whole flat-leaf parsley leaves
At least 1 hour before you plan to serve the salad, whisk together the olive oil, lemon zest, 1/4 cup of lemon juice, the shallots, celery seed, celery salt, anchovy paste, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Place the celery in a mixing bowl and toss it with the remaining 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. (Ina says this step is very important.) Add enough dressing to moisten well. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour to allow the celery to crisp and the flavors to develop.
When ready to serve, arrange the celery on a platter (I just toss it in a bowl), shave the Parmesan onto the celery with a vegetable peeler, then sprinkle with walnuts, parsley leaves, salt, and pepper and serve immediately.