When catalan chef Daniel Olivella was growing up, his mother’s salads never began with the greens. The first step always was grinding nuts to make dressings. “She would get a bunch of nuts, pound them in the mortar with salt, pepper and vinegar and make dressing out of that,” says Olivella, owner of Barlata restaurant in Austin, Texas. In his book, “Catalan Food,” Olivella had these dressings in mind when he created amanida d’api, a less labor-intensive salad of celery, parsley leaves and hazelnuts. We love this rich blending of fresh vegetables, tangy vinaigrette and savory nuts.
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