This incredibly unique salad pairs crispy fried artichokes, tender massaged kale, roasted asparagus, and quick pickled celery with a creamy parmesan dressing. It’s insanely delicious! Adapted from Pizzeria Stella.
For the Pickled Celery
- 1 cup white distilled vinegar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 4 stalks celery, thinly sliced on a bias
For the Asparagus
- 1/2 bunch asparagus, tough ends removed
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- salt and pepper
For the Dressing
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1 lemon, zested and juiced
- 1 large clove garlic, finely minced (I grated it on the same microplane I used to zest the lemon)
- 1 small bunch chives, minced, about 1 heaping tablespoon
- 1/2 cup grated good quality parmesan cheese, such as Parmigiano Reggiano or Grana Padano
- salt and pepper to taste
For the Artichokes
- 1 12 ounce bag frozen artichoke hearts, defrosted (I used Trader Joe’s brand)
- olive oil, for frying
- 1 bunch kale, any variety, tough stems removed and roughly chopped*
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- pinch of salt and pepper to taste
Pickle the Celery
- Combine the vinegar, salt and sugar in a small saucepan and bring up to a boil. Remove from the heat and stir until the salt and sugar have dissolved. Add the celery to a bowl and pour the liquid over top. Let sit in the refrigerator while you prepare the other ingredients.
Make the Asparagus
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Toss the asparagus with olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread out on a parchment lined baking sheet and roast for about 15 minutes, or until browned and tender, but still al dente. Alternatively, you can grill the asparagus instead. Allow to cool to room temperature, then chop into 1 inch pieces and set aside.
Make the Dressing
- Add mayonnaise, lemon juice and zest, garlic, chives and parmesan cheese to a medium mixing bowl and whisk to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste and set aside.
Fry the Artichokes
- Drain the artichokes in a colander, then spread out on towels and pat very dry. You may need to squeeze them and press down to remove as much liquid as possible. This is an important step, as any excess liquid going into the hot oil will cause dangerous splatters. Heat about 1 inch of olive oil in a heavy bottomed skillet or saucepan with big sides until very hot (about 375 degrees). Add the artichokes in batches and fry until golden brown on all sides. Remove with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain, and season with salt while they’re still piping hot.
Assemble the Salad
- Place the kale in large salad bowl, drizzle with olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Use your hands to aggressively massage the kale to break it down into softer pieces, about 2 minutes. Drain the celery well and use some paper towels to pat off any excess pickling liquid – too much will make the salad too tangy. Add the celery to the kale along with the asparagus and half of the artichoke hearts. Toss the salad with enough dressing to coat. Arrange on a platter or individual plates and top with the remaining artichokes. Serve immediately.
- *You can substitute a container of baby kale, but skip the step of drizzling with olive oil and massaging.
- **For a VEGAN variation of this salad, simply omit the parmesan and use vegan mayonnaise.
Keywords: kale, asparagus, artichokes, celery, salad, fried, pickled, roasted, massaged, spring