Sparkling Summer Salad: Or, How I learned to stop slicing and love the mandolin,

I get a terrible feeling when I come to the end of a recipe I have all the ingredients for (ish) only to read the final instruction: crockpot-ing, immersion blending, dutch oven-ing...or any number of other final touches for which I don't have the right kitchen tool (yet!). So, having recently acquired a very handy mandolin from the previous owners of my new house (when someone leaves something in a cupboard still in the box, that's a housewarming gift right?), I've spent the better part of the afternoon julienning everything slice-able in my fridge (which is more than you'd think! Skinny cheese sticks anyone? Strawberry stick-men? Long long banana slices? No?).

The very tasty outcome of this little experiment is a pretty awesome summer salad: it's crunchy, tart, filling, and refreshing, and above all, easy (especially if you have a mandolin or any other kind of slicing tool).

You're gonna want:
A large bowl
A little bowl
A mandolin (you lucky duck)

In your big bowl toss together:

3 stalks of celery, sliced thick
half a cucumber, julienned
2 large carrots, peeled and julienned
2 granny smith (or other tart) apples, julienned [to do this, cut the apple into 4 sides, then attempt to slice - I kept the peels on)
l large handful of fresh cilantro, roughly chopped

In your small bowl mix:
1/2 cup lemon juice
1-2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp apple cider vinegar (optional)
1 tbsp sugar (also optional - i wanted my dressing a little sweeter than lemony)
large grain salt to taste (I used a citrus chili salt mix and it was perfect)
cracked black pepper to taste

Drizzle the dressing over your salad mix and stir around until well distributed. Cover and keep in the fridge for an hour to let the flavours combine if you have the time, or serve fresh immediately!

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