Waldorf Salad got its name from the Waldorf Hotel in NYC. It was very famous in the early 20th century when salad was a block of iceberg lettuce with Thousand Island (Russian) dressing and maybe a tomato garnish. I’ve created, based on recipes in the Ultrametabolism Cookbook, and others I’ve seen, a mayo-less and somewhat healthier Waldorf salad. You can experiment with fresh herbs, I especially like tarragon in this one, it goes very well with the fennel, which gives it a sweet flavor, with a crunch similar to celery.
3 apples, diced – I use gala, but you can use any firm fleshed apple, I don’t peel
1 bulb fennel, diced
3 stalks celery hearts, diced (the lighter, less bitter inside stalks of a celery bunch)
1 cup toasted walnut pieces (just pop in a pan and toast until they begin to brown, set aside)
½ cucumber, preferably english, peeled, seeded and chopped
2 Shallots, grated or diced very, very fine
2 handfuls of golden raisins (optional)
¼ cup walnut oil*
~ 1 – 2 T of Balsamic syrup OR regular white balsamic vinegar, 2-3 T
juice of ½ lemon, preferably fresh
1 T fresh chopped tarragon leaves, or 1 teaspoon dried
Salt, freshly cracked pepper
Mix everything together except for dressing ingredients. Using an empty jar, make dressing. Shake and taste. If it is too vinegary, add a pinch of Stevia or raw honey, if it is too oily, add another teaspoon of Balsamic. Shake it up and taste again. If it is slightly sweet, but you can taste the bite of vinegar, you’re ready to dress the salad.
Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Serve chilled or room temp. Best if it has about an hour or so to sit and combine flavors, but you can serve immediately if time doesn’t allow. Will keep in frig for about 3 days. This is great as a lunch entrée on a bed of greens, or as a side dish.
Variations: Add a bit of curry powder, add a cup of diced firm tofu, add dried cherries, coconut or currants, or cooked chicken.
Keep in mind the walnuts are your protein source in this, so adding meat isn’t necessary.
* Keep all nut oils in the refrigerator, they spoil (go rancid) quickly.