Sunday, November 9, 2014

Mom's Favorite Apple Waldorf Salad

Apples, celery, grapes, walnuts, lemon juice, mayonnaise, salt and pepper. That's it! and we got most of the ingredients in our box from SLO Veg last week: Pink Lady apples, Autumn Royal Black Grapes, un-titled celery.

This salad was meant to be a simple starter salad or appetizer, and it is credited to a chef in New York City's Waldorf Hotel in 1893. While the original version was simply apples, celery and mayonnaise, later variations added walnuts, grapes, lemon juice, salt and pepper. New-age recipes may also substitute yogurt, and I have made it that way before, but I like the creamy mayonnaise base the best with a little tang from the lemon juice. Besides, that's how my Mom always made it, spooned onto some iceberg lettuce leaves. I know this was one of her favorite salads, and she always said the whole name, "Apple Waldorf Salad", with a bit of reverence, like it was a big deal to serve this classic to us.

The celery and apples certainly compliment each other, and Waldorf salad is a classic for that reason, no matter how you tweak it. It was the perfect accompaniment for our dinner tonight of a decadent macaroni and cheese casserole and oven-baked barbecue spare ribs. 

I used two Pink Lady apples and two ribs of celery in this recipe. It made enough salad for 4 people.

Apple Waldorf Salad

2 apples, chopped into bite-sized pieces
2 ribs celery, sliced
10-15 grapes
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
juice of one lemon
salt and pepper to taste

Mix together the mayonnaise, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Stir into chopped apples, celery and grapes. Stir in walnuts and serve on a bed of lettuce, if desired.

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