Leafy celery, Devon Blue, roasted squash and pickled walnut salad

Joe Fox's wonderful salad of celery, squash and blue cheese combines lots of different components to create layers of flavour. Joe recommends using Devon Blue cheese and crown prince squash but feel free to use your favourite blue cheese and squash as you see fit!

First published in 2020

This salad is all about building layers of flavour, says Joe Fox, chef at Townsend Restaurant in London. A walnut and blue cheese dressing provides a base which Joe builds upon with blanched celery, pickled and roasted squash, pickled walnuts and blue cheese. A salad that ticks all the boxes.




Sherry dressing

  • 25g of sherry vinegar
  • 100g of extra virgin olive oil
  • 100g of rapeseed oil
  • 15g of dark brown sugar
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste

Pickled squash

  • 1/4 squash, finely sliced on a mandoline
  • 100ml of water
  • 100g of white wine vinegar
  • 100g of sugar

Walnut dressing

Roasted squash


Start by pickling the squash – this is best done the day before. Combine the water, sugar and white wine vinegar in a pan and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat immediately, then pour over the sliced squash and leave to pickle overnight in the fridge
Preheat an oven to 180ºC/gas mark 4. Toss the diced squash in a little olive oil and salt and roast for 12 minutes until tender
Meanwhile, break down the head of celery into individual sticks and reserve the inner leaves for garnish. Cut the stems into 3cm pieces and cook in boiling salted water for 2 minutes. When the celery pieces are cooked, refresh in ice water, then drain and reserve until ready to plate
To make the walnut dressing, crush the walnuts and cheese together in a pestle and mortar, then slowly add the olive oil to form a coarse paste. Alternatively you can do this in a blender
For the sherry vinegar dressing, combine the sherry vinegar and sugar and mix well, then add the oils. Season with salt and pepper and set aside
To plate, spread some of the walnut dressing on the bottom of the plate. Dress the roasted squash and celery with the sherry dressing. Assemble the pickled squash, roasted squash, crumbled blue cheese, pickled walnuts and celery in layers, finishing with the dressed celery leaves and a grating of raw walnut over the top

Joe Fox is a London-based chef, specialising in modern British cuisine inspired by seasonality and the Slow Food movement.

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