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Jewish World Review
A fresh take on Waldorf Salad
Diane Rossen Worthington
Waldorf Salad is a timeless dish. I remember growing up with the classic recipe of apples, nuts and a mayonnaise dressing that was frequently included on dinner menus as a first course.
The story goes that maitre d'hotel Oscar Tschirky created the original salad at New York's Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in 1896. Tschirky invented it on the spot in response to a customer request, tossing apples and celery with mayonnaise. Within a few years, his simple recipe had evolved with the addition of walnuts, grapes and a honey-sour cream dressing into what became the Classic Waldorf Salad.
Over the more than 100 years since, chefs have experimented with different ingredients, adding an array of flavors and textures, from various nuts and cheeses to fresh and dried fruits and citrus dressings. I like to think of the salad as a culinary canvas that invites creative adaptations.
While teaching a weekend of cooking classes at the Arizona Biltmore, I was introduced to two different versions of the acclaimed crunchy treat. Here are some tips to make any of these salads a hit:
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Remember to sample the apples in advance to make sure they are crisp and delicious and not mealy.
Don't cut up the apples until just before you're ready to serve because they oxidize quickly and will turn dark.
All of these salads can be mutiplied, depending upon how many servings you need.
CLASSIC WALDORF SALAD
This is a bite of the past but not without contemporary updates such as creme fraiche instead of sour cream and serving it inside a hollowed-out apple.
Serves Serves 2
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon creme fraiche
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and diced small
1 Gala apple, peeled and diced small
1/4 cup sliced grapes
2 Gala apples, tops removed and insides hollowed out
Add mustard, honey and creme fraiche to a large mixing bowl. Mix well. Add apples and grapes. Toss well. Spoon into apples and serve.
WRIGHT'S WALDORF SALAD
This is a semi-classic edition from Wright's at The Biltmore, which serves classic favorites updated for today's tastes. Ingredients such as honey, sugar and walnut oil, and slicing the apples into matchstick size, reset the flavor and texture profile.
Serves Serves 2
- 1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and sliced into matchsticks
1 Gala apple, peeled and sliced into matchsticks
1/2 cup peeled and diced celery root
6 candied walnut halves
1/4 cup grapes, cut in half
1/4 cup plain yogurt
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 tablespoons creme fraiche or sour cream
3 celery leaves, diced
2 tablespoons walnut oil
1. Add apples, celery root, candied walnuts and grapes to a large mixing bowl.
2. In a separate bowl, add yogurt, honey, sugar, creme fraiche, celery leaves and walnut oil. Mix dressing until well blended. Add to apple mixture and toss well. Serve immediately.
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© 2013, Diane Rossen Worthington. Distributed by Tribune Media Services Inc.