This recipe for Waldorf Salad is an updated and slightly modified version of the original…. recently my web surfing brought me to the CBS network TV morning show video that featured Executive Chef John Doherty from the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York. This recipe is close to what he did on the program… I did make a few changes.
First, just a bit of trivia about Chef Doherty and the Waldorf… since Herbert Hoover, every president has dined at the Waldorf…. And Chef Doherty has the distinction of serving more heads of state, royalty and presidents than any other chef in the country… talk about a stressful job!
Now for a bit of history of the Waldorf Salad… according to the CBS website… When the Waldorf Salad was created in the 1890’s by Oscar Tschirky who was the Waldorf’s maitre d’hotel at the time, the salad only consisted of apples, celery and mayonnaise… Chopped walnuts were added later. The hotel kitchen has “updated” the salad for today’s taste… losing the mayo and substituting crème fraiche and yogurt….
In the Waldorf’s restaurants, the salad also comes with minced truffles and candied walnuts… but these were left out of the Waldorf Salad prepared for the show and toasted walnuts were used instead of candied walnuts because he had to stay on a $40 budget…for the segment … Chef on a Shoestring ….apparently the challenge was to prepare an elegant meal for under $40. One of the items that he prepared was Waldorf Salad.
Just in case you were wondering… crème fraiche is the French term for “fresh cream”.. it is soured cream… it’s less sour and less thick than sour cream. It can be purchased commercially or homemade. For more information.. scroll to my section, in the right column, “Tidbits of Information” … it’s one of the featured cooking terms.
Many other updated versions of the dressing contain seasoned mayonnaise, yogurt, crème fraiche or sour cream or a combination of these. It also can contain walnut oil or olive oil, lemon juice and/or honey.
The actual salad ingredients have also been updated through the years and you can find many recipes containing other ingredients, including grapes and toasted walnuts.
My version of a Waldorf Salad recipe is here… I used a mixture of sour cream and non-fat plain yogurt… I added a little honey to balance out the sourness of the lemon juice and sour cream (I goofed when photographing the ingredients… I forgot to put the honey in the picture). I do use crème fraiche when I can find it…. If using crème fraiche instead of sour cream… I omit the honey.
I “eyeballed” the amount of honey… it’s hard to measure honey and get all the honey off the spoon… the amount listed is pretty accurate.
For information about toasting walnuts please see my previous post... How to Toast Walnuts.
This recipe makes approximately 4 servings (depending on the size of the salad).
This is a light, delicious salad… terrific for a lunch or light supper.
Recipe: Waldorf Salad
All you need:
For the salad:
1 large Granny Smith apple, unpeeled and chopped
1 large Gala or Red Delicious apple, unpeeled and chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 cup seedless green or red grapes, halved
¼ cup toasted walnuts
For the dressing:
¼ cup plain non-fat yogurt
¼ cup sour cream
1 ½ teaspoons lemon juice
1-2 teaspoons honey (to taste)
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
All you need to do:
Combine all the dressing ingredients in a small bowl and whisk until smooth.
Make a bed of salad greens on a plate and set aside.
In a medium bowl combine the chopped apples, grapes and celery.
Toss the apple mixture with the dressing.
Place a large scoop of salad on top of the salad greens.
Sprinkle with toasted walnuts.
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