Waldorf salad was one of those side dishes that my mother made for a weekend lunch. I’m not sure that it really mattered to me what it was served with but more often that not it came alongside a quiche or Ploughman’s lunch. It was a very basic affair- celery, apple and peanuts lightly coated in mayonnaise- certainly not a meal itself but memorable nevertheless. I can’t recall ever calling it something as pretentious as Waldorf salad though- it was probably more like that celery and apple thing but essentially Waldorf is what it was.
It’s been ages since I’ve had mum’s Waldorf salad, but the other day I was craving some crunch and lets face it celery alone (even during spurts of virtuous eating) is rarely enough. Poor Don- he has felt rather shortchanged this past week since our return from honeymoon. Too many meals of rice and beans has left me with a rather desperate need for fruits and vegetables and Don has come home from his new job each night this week hoping for a big steak only to see salad on the table. Again.
So, I thought for this salad, I would at least add some meat- for his plate, anyway. I read around for ideas of what to put in my Waldorf salad but in the end it came down to what I had hanging out in my produce drawers. Strawberries, some fennel, a bit of tarragon and dried cranberries- because why not? I think this would satisfy most anyone’s crunchy cravings. Oh, and Don’s response to another evening of health food?
“Um, actually it’s Baxter now, darling”
“Mrs. Baxter. This is a blog-worthy salad.”
What a great husband.
Waldorf with a twist
Sweet, crunchy, salty and sweet– what more could a salad ask for?
Diet Facts: nutritious and delicious
for the salad:
1 celery heart, sliced (roughly 1 cm/.5 inches)
1/2 fennel bulb, very finely sliced
1 apple (I prefer Granny smith), chopped
100g/ 4 oz strawberries, hulled and quartered
50/ 1/3 cup dried cranberries
75g unsalted roasted peanuts
300g cooked chicken or turkey breasts, cubed
for the dressing: (you can use all mayo or all yogurt but I find that the mix adds just the right amount of richness)
1 Tbsp mayonnaise (light is fine)
2 Tbsp Greek or plain yogurt (fat free is fine)
Juice 1 lemon
2 Tbsp chopped tarragon (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
1/ Toss together all of the salad ingredients in a large bowl.
2/ In a small bowl mix together the dressing ingredients. Pour over the salad ingredients and toss to combine.