Festive and Crispy Waldorf Salad

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The Waldorf salad is the quintessential American salad for the Holidays. Usually served at Thanksgiving dinners, it is so festive, fresh and crispy that it is the perfect appetizer for Christmas and New Year’s meals or any other celebration.

It was originally created, more than 110 years ago, by Oscar Tschirky, maître d’hôtel of the Waldorf Hotel in New York City (later the Waldorf Astoria which, since 1931, became the icon of the Post Depression era opulence at 301 Park Avenue), and the recipe appeared in The Cook Book by Oscar of the Waldorf.

The original salad was a combination of diced apples and celery with a mayonnaise dressing, served over a lettuce bed. Nuts were added by the time the recipe appeared in another book in 1928.

In my recipe I substituted mayonnaise with sour cream and added some honey and Dijon mustard to the dressing. Instead of walnuts, I prefer toasted pecans. I hope you like it and enjoy the Holidays!

Waldorf Salad | Ingredients for 8 portions
¾ cup of pecans
1 cup of finely diced celery
½ cup of finely diced red bell pepper
3 green onions, including some of the tender green part, finely chopped
4 apples, peeled, cored and diced
Juice of one lemon
1 cup of light sour cream
2 ½ Tbs. of honey
1 Tbs. of Dijon mustard
1 Tsp. of minced fresh mint
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 head of romaine lettuce, only the crisp inner leaves (save the rest for another use).

Preheat the oven to 250F. On a baking sheet, toast the pecans 7 to 8 minutes, until they are fragrant. Let the pecans cool down, coarsely chop and set aside. In a bowl toss the apples with the lemon juice and add the celery, red pepper and green onions. In another bowl, mix the sour cream, honey and mustard, mint and salt and pepper, until well combined. Make a lettuce bed on a salad plate. Add the dressing to the apple mixture and mix. Add the pecans and combine. Pour this mixture on the center of the lettuce bed.

To print the recipe click here.

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