This classic American salad gets a revamp with a lighter taste. Lots of crunch from the seasonal apples, celery and walnuts with mellow additions ~ kale, roasted squash, grapes and a creamy cinnamon yogurt drizzle. A new classic!
The original version of this salad contained only apples, celery and mayonnaise. In 1896 at New York’s Waldorf Hotel (just before it merged to become the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel), the maître d’hôtel, (dining room manager) created the wonderful Waldorf Salad.. and it was an instant success.
Over the years, chefs and home cooks have taken the original elements, and added their favorite complementary pairings. What has started out with just apples, celery and mayonnaise has morphed into a more complex salad.
Most popular variations include the additions of walnuts, grapes, chicken or turkey and raisins, usually served over sturdy lettuce leaves.
To redo this salad – I start with thinly sliced kale and celery massaged with a bit of extra virgin olive oil, a splash of orange juice and a touch of garlic. Then, delicata squash is roasted (the skin is edible, pretty to look at and delicious) and added with local apples, toasted walnuts and grapes. A heavenly combination with extra fiber and antioxidants… my new favorite waldorf salad! Vegan & Gluten-Free.
The dressing gets lightened up: vegan mayonnaise is whisked with Greek yogurt, a touch of cinnamon and honey. Instead of mixed with the salad ingredients, it is drizzled over as it is plated.
Serve the salad as a health-packed lunch or first course. What a wonderful buffet dish it would make for the holidays! A nice, colorful and wholesome addition to your Thanksgiving or Christmas buffet.
While kale, walnuts, celery and delicate squash will contribute a dose of protein, feel free to add more of your favorites… sprinkle in your favorite plant-based one (such as quinoa), or diced poached chicken or turkey.
Enjoy my vision for “waldorf salad, ”