Knife skills 101 is one of our most popular classes and, it's no wonder. Learning how to wield a chef's knife is a risky proposition, but will take your level of cooking from a 3 to a 10 with just a little practice.
In the class we show our students the correct movement and hand positions (after we teach them how to sharpen their own knives) and we make them practice that for 2 hours straight. While the class slices and dices we gather all the practice materials (slices celery, apples, and so on) and we whirl them into lunch or dinner.
After they get the skills down pat, we sit down to the meal that has miraculously been put together. One of my favorite dishes that comes from this is a super-refreshing celery salad that tastes so bright and crisp. -Ian
Celery and Green Apple Salad with Toasted Almonds and Shaved Parmesan
Serves 4 to 6
½ cup slivered almonds
2 green apples, julienned
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
4 medium celery stalks, thinly sliced
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 ounce Parmesan cheese, shaved with a vegetable peeler
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Toast the almonds in the oven until golden brown, 6 to 8 minutes.
Combine the apples and lemon juice in a large bowl. Stir in the celery and toss with the oil.
Stir in the toasted almonds and season to taste with salt and pepper. Divide the salad among plates and garnish with the shaved Parmesan cheese.