Bitterness in a salad is fundamental. Arugula, endive, kale, dandelion—all of these put bounce in a salad by balancing the sweetness of fruits or sugars, cutting the richness of oils or cheeses or nuts, and competing on friendly terms with acidity, or even replacing acidity altogether. Adding bitters to a dressing goes one step further, burnishing every ingredient with appetite-stimulating bitterness and aromatics. Here the celery bitters amplify the chlorophyll freshness of the vegetables and spice up everything else. The result is bold and elegant at the same time, suited for a snack on its own or as a savored course in any feast.
3 tangerines or clementines, peeled, seeded, and separated into sections
4 fennel ribs, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced (about 3 cups)
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup walnut pieces, toasted
3/4 teaspoon flake sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Juice of 2 tangerines
Juice of 1/2 lemon
2 tablespoons celery bitters
2 tablespoons walnut oil
Toss the tangerine sections, fennel slices, parsley, and walnuts in a serving bowl. Season with the salt and pepper.
Mix the tangerine juice, lemon juice, celery bitters, and walnut oil in a small bowl. Toss with the salad and serve.
From Bitterman’s Field Guide to Bitters and Amari by Mark Bitterman, photography by Clare Barboza and Mark Bitterman/Andrews McMeel Publishing, LLC.
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