You can make this dish as simple or elaborate as you like. Christine offers some yummy suggestions at the end of her recipe that will really give the salad pizzazz and jazz-up any summertime meal.
Celery, Avocado and Cucumber Salad
by Christine Vartanian-Datian
6 cups sliced celery, tender leaves included, sliced on an angle
2 large avocados, cut into pieces or sliced
2 medium cucumbers, peeled, seeded, diced
2 cups fresh tomatoes, diced or 2 cups cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1 cup canned garbanzo beans, washed, drained
1/2 medium red onion, sliced thinly
6-8 radishes, chopped or sliced thinly
1/2 cup each chopped flat-leaf parsley and mint
1/4 cup marinated black olives
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1/4 cup olive oil
Juice of 1 or 2 lemons (or red wine or balsamic vinegar to taste)
2 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and black pepper
1 teaspoon sumac (or lemon zest)
Garnishing Options: Crumbled feta cheese, ricotta cheese or queso fresco, toasted pine nuts, pecans or walnuts, fresh lemon or lime wedges
Combine the celery, avocado and cucumbers with the remaining vegetables and olives; toss.
In a small bowl whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, minced garlic, salt, pepper and sumac (or lemon zest).
Toss dressing with salad to coat. Adjust seasonings if needed, cover, and marinate for one hour in the refrigerator.
When ready to serve, transfer salad to a serving plate with a slotted spoon (leaving behind any excess liquid).
Garnish with cheese and/or toasted nuts; if desired.
Serve with fresh lemon or lime wedges.
Christine’s Suggestions: To jazz things up a bit, optional additions to this salad may include orange or grapefruit segments, diced apple, chopped dates, pomegranate seeds, dried cranberries, golden raisins, pears, marinated artichoke hearts or mushrooms, or fresh grapes. Toss with a citrus poppy seed dressing or other dressing of your choice in place of oil and lemon juice.
*Christine’s recipes have been published in the Fresno Bee newspaper, Sunset magazine, Cooking Light magazine, and at https://www.thearmeniankitchen.com/