Celery in an avocado sandwich? Tom Colicchio says ‘youbetcha’. It’s inspired by a salad that is popular in Chile. I think it’s a cool, healthful warm weather sandwich that is easy to make and easy to crunch. It also features a walnut butter spread that I know your dying to taste.
- 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 tablespoon minced shallot
- 2 ¼ teaspoon kosher salt (divided, plus more for seasoning)
- 1 tablespoon sprig fresh rosemary
- 2 cup walnuts (lightly toasted)
- ¼ cup walnut oil (or vegetable oil)
- 1 pinch crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
- 8 slice whole grain multigrain bread
- 5 ounce fresh goat cheese (at room temperature)
- 2 stalks celery (sliced crosswise into ¼” slices)
- 2 cup baby arugula leaves (loosely packed)
- 1 ripe avocado (halved, pitted, peeled, and sliced)
- 1 pinch freshly cracked black pepper (or to taste)
Make the vinaigrette: In a bowl, combine the oil, lemon juice, shallots, and 2 teaspoons salt and whisk until the vinaigrette emulsifies. Add the rosemary sprig, cover, and set aside for 1 hour. Remove the rosemary before using. This recipe makes more than you need for the sandwiches. It keeps well if refrigerated for up to 1 week. Makes about 2 cups.
Make the walnut butter: Place the toasted walnuts in the bowl of a food processor and process them until they become sticky or paste-like. It takes a good minute or so for the nuts to release their oils and you may need to scrape the sides of the bowl. Be diligent. Add the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt and red pepper (if using). Add the oil, a little bit at a time until the walnut butter binds together. You might not use all the oil. Use your judgement. This recipe makes more than you need for the sandwiches. Store covered in the refrigerator. Please note that the shelf life in of homemade nut butter is shorter compared to commercial brands.
Make the sandwiches: Lay the bread slices on a work surface. Divide the goat cheese in 4 equal portions; spread each portion onto 4 slices bread.
In a small bowl, toss the celery in 2 tablespoons of the vinaigrette; season with pepper. Place the celery on top of the goat cheese. Add the arugula to the bowl used to dress the celery and toss with 1 more tablespoon vinaigrette. Top the celery with avocado slices; season with salt then follow with the dressed arugula.
Spread about 1 heaping tablespoon (or more to taste) walnut butter evenly over the 4 remaining bread slices. Use these to close the sandwiches; cut into halves, and serve.