A Waldorf salad is a salad traditionally made of fresh apples, celery, and walnuts, tossed with mayonnaise, and usually served on a bed of lettuce as an appetizer or a light meal.
The Waldorf Salad is said to have been created in the 1890's by Oscar Tschirky, the maitre d' of the famed NYC Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City. It included only diced red apples, celery and mayonnaise. Chopped walnuts were added soon after, and there have been many incarnations since.
Adding extra ingredients like grapes, chickpeas, dried cranberries/raisins and/or shredded coconut bring a wonderful dimension to this already delicious salad, and a vegan mayonnaise or special dressing makes it even healthier and more delectable. There are loads of recipes available online, but below I offer my own delicious variation that will hit the spot and delight your taste buds.
For this recipe I decided to leave the amounts of each ingredient up to you, since the quantities may vary depending on your personal taste.
- Red Delicious apples, chopped
- Celery, chopped
- Walnuts, chopped (toasting them is extra yummy)
- Grapes - halved
- Shredded coconut
- Dried cranberries or raisins (unsweetened)
- Vegan mayonnaise
- Juice from lemon/lime
- Dijon mustard (optional)
- Ground nutmeg
(You can use cashews, pecans, almonds, pine nuts or any other nut if you prefer instead of walnuts, and replace celery with jicima, fennel, radish, parsnip, red bell pepper if you prefer...be creative and please share!)
- Combine apples, celery, walnuts, cranberries/raisins, chickpeas in a bowl and set aside.
- Add mayonnaise, mustard & lemon juice and mix into salad.
- Serve on a bed of fresh salad greens.
- Drizzle the dressing on top and sprinkle with coconut and ground nutmeg right before serving.
- Can be refrigerated in an air-tight container for a few days.
Healthier Mayonnaise Replacement Dressing:
- 1/2 apple
- 1/4 cup walnuts
- 2 tablespoons raisins
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons water, more if needed
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1/8 teaspoon sea salt (optional)
Blend well until slightly thick, adding water to make it thinner. Pour over salad and enjoy!