While Bologna is known for its traditional dishes like tagliatelle alla bolognese, tortellini en brodo, and lasagne verde, when you travel to Italy you'll notice that Bolognese people also like to eat fresh vegetables course with pasta-heavy meals. And the Emilia-Romagna region grows some really beautiful beautiful vegetables to celebrate.
No matter the time of year you visit Bologna, you notice the markets are always abundant with onions, striking chicories that come in deep hues of purples and pastel pinks, and my personal favorite, fresh celery hearts. Crisp, light, and so delicious when thinly sliced and paired with salty shavings of Parmigiano-Reggiano, crunchy walnuts and a few generous tablespoons of olive oil.
This celery salad is something my zia (aunt) often serves as the first course at a family meal. We eat this salad a lot because it's versatile and available year round. The Parmigiano-Reggiano is really want makes it super special and very Bolognese.
Toss together the celery, Parmigiano-Reggiano and walnuts in a mixing bowl. Then drizzle on the olive oil and vinegar and toss to combine. Taste and season with salt and pepper if desired.
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Photo Credit: Sher Castellano