Celery Sorbet with Honeyed Celery Shaved Salad

Celery for Dessert?!?!  Um... YES!

Ingredients

Balsamic Fig Compote

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • Zest of 1 lemon, cut into strips
  • 1 cup dried black mission figs
  • 1/2 cup good-quality balsamic vinegar, or as needed

Goat-Cheese Mousse With Fried Bread Crumbs

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons honey
  • Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
  • 6 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 6 ounces fresh goat cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup crème fraîche
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 day-old baguette, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

Celery Sorbet or Granita

  • 1 1/2 cups sugar, or more as needed
  • 1 1/2 pounds celery, roughly chopped
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Salt

Shaved-Celery Salad

  • 4 celery ribs, peeled and cut into 3-inch lengths
  • 1/2 teaspoon Gulden’s spicy brown mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey
  • 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Preparation

Balsamic Fig Compote
Time: 10 minutes, plus time to cool

  • Put the sugar, lemon zest and 1 cup water in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is dissolved. Put the figs in a medium bowl, pour the syrup over the figs and cool for 2 to 3 hours.
  • Drain and discard the syrup, then put the figs in a jar or another airtight container and add vinegar to cover. Cover and refrigerate for several hours or until ready to use. (Use leftover vinegar for drizzling or vinaigrettes.)
  • Yield: 8 to 10 servings (about 1 cup)

Goat-Cheese Mousse With Fried Bread Crumbs
Time: 20 to 30 minutes, plus time to chill

  • Put the honey, 1 tablespoon water and a pinch of salt in a small saucepan over low heat; stir until the honey melts. Sprinkle the gelatin over the honey mixture and whisk until combined. Stir until it dissolves completely, about 4 minutes. Turn off heat. 
  • Meanwhile, use a standing mixer (with a whisk attachment, if you have one) to beat the cream cheese and goat cheese until light and fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the crème fraîche, cream and sugar, and continue to beat until smooth and creamy, another minute or so. Add the honey mixture and beat until light and fluffy, about a minute, then cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 1 day.
  • Meanwhile, heat the oven to 300. Put the baguette slices on a baking sheet and bake, turning halfway through, until somewhat but not completely dry, about 10 minutes. Put the bread in a food processor and pulse until the crumbs are coarsely chopped. Put the crumbs in a colander to sift out the finest crumbs and discard or reserve for another use. 
  • Put the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When it’s hot, add the bread crumbs and a large pinch of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Drain on paper towels. (The bread crumbs can be made in advance; cover tightly and store at room temperature for up to 1 day.)
  • When ready to serve, use a small scoop or two teaspoons to shape the mousse into 1 1/2-inch oval balls and sprinkle them with the fried bread crumbs to coat.
  • Yield: 8 to 10 servings (about 3 cups)

Recipe: Celery Sorbet or Granita
Time: 20 minutes, plus time to chill and freeze

  • Put the sugar and 11/2 cups water in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is dissolved. Cool. (The syrup can be made in advance; cover and refrigerate for up to a week.) 
  • Working in 2 batches, put the syrup in a blender with the celery, lime juice and a large pinch of salt. Blend for 1 to 2 minutes. Refrigerate for 30 minutes, then press through a fine-mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth to remove the solids. (Or, if you have a juicer, juice the celery and combine in a bowl with the syrup, lime juice and salt.) Taste and add more sugar if you like.
  • To make sorbet, freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s directions. To make granita, pour into a shallow glass or ceramic pan and freeze for at least 2 hours, stirring to break up the crystals every 30 minutes or so. 
  • Yield: 8 to 10 servings (about 6 cups)

Shaved-Celery Salad
Time: 20 minutes

  • Fill a medium bowl with ice water. Use a vegetable peeler to shave the celery into thin strips. Keep the shaved celery in the ice bath while you make the vinaigrette.
  • Whisk together the mustard, honey, vinegar and 1/2 teaspoon water in a small bowl and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Slowly drizzle in the oil, whisking constantly, until an emulsion forms. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
  • When you’re ready to serve, drain the celery and pat dry with paper towels, then toss with the vinaigrette. Shake off any excess vinaigrette before serving. 
  • Yield: 8 to 10 servings (about 2 cups)

To serve: Put a scoop of the sorbet or granita in the center of a plate. Surround with 3 or 4 cheese-mousse balls, and tear up a couple of figs and scatter them around, with a little of their vinegar. Top the sorbet with the celery salad. Serve immediately.

Categories: Appetizer, Celery, Salad, Dessert