Thursday, October 29, 2015

A Waldorf Salad by Any Other Name

As I joked about in the video, a fruit salad has to be pretty damn good to actually get a name, and the venerable Waldorf salad is certainly worthy. 

I realize that there are a small group of you who won’t be able to wrap your heads around mayonnaise with fruit, and that’s a shame, since it means you won’t get to enjoy one of the great combinations of all time. By the way, if you are one of the aforementioned people, but like mayo slathered all over your sandwich, containing slices of sweet, ripe tomato, and caramelized onions, then you have some explaining to do. Also, coleslaw. I rest my case.

Embellish this as you see fit, but I really like it best with just the four ingredients seen here. Things like dried cranberries can add a nice seasonal touch, but for me, the chewy fruit gets in the way of that addictive crunchy/crisp texture. I really hope you give this old-school, but timeless Waldorf salad a try soon. Enjoy!

Ingredients for about 1 cup dressing (enough for 2 Waldorf salads below):
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup crème fraiche or sour cream (I used CF)
juice from 1/2 lemon
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
pinch freshly ground black pepper
pinch cayenne
1 tablespoon finely chopped tarragon

For 2 large or 4 appetizer sized Waldorf salads:
2 large crisp, sweet apples, cut in 1/2 inch cubes
1 cup small cubed celery root
1 cup quartered seedless grapes
1/2 cup toasted walnuts pieces


Tony Arra said...

Really interesting salad...think I might try it with a yogurt-based dressing instead of mayo.

Benjamin Sambor said...

Is celery root commonly available? i don't think I have ever seen it.

bdwilcox said...

That salad cries out for crumbled blue cheese.

Jude said...

An old school Chinese banquet dish involves cut up cantaloupe, honeydew, apples, grapes, canned fruit cocktail and cold poached lobster all liberally slathered in mayonnaise and artfully arranged on a platter.

Jef Parthe said...

One of the few of your recipes I don't see myself trying Chef .
Ps More Mexican recipes please

meigancam01 said...

Hello John,
Very delicious salad recipe with unique touch.
Thanks for sharing this.

Flight Sargent said...

From Flight Sargent
What!?. No references to the famous Fawlty Towers episode? "..with lashings of warm screwdriver"
Love your stuff Chef John, keep up the amazing work.

Chris Allen said...

I make a similar salad for the holidays with just apples, a small handful of raisons, and a banana or two thrown in at the last minute. My mayonnaise sauce is just a two or three tablespoons of mayo slightly sweetened with sugar and a touch of vanilla. No celery root or even just plain celery. Folks, give the mayo a try: after it sits around with the apples it transforms into a tasty dressing.

Robin Betts said...

I wonder what the schmear is, under the chicken and Waldorf dish? I can imagine something salty, earthy, and rich would really finish it nicely.

Dan and Hilary said...

This is a classic my mom always made when I was a kid.

Thanks for your version Chef John, never tasted celery root before, will give this a try for sure.

Gemmagirl said...

Looks delicious, but unfortunately allergic to apples. I know it the star ingredient. Any plausible substitute? Thank you.

PhillyBear said...

All these years, I thought the traditional salad had chicken! thanks for this lesson, Chef!

Carol Maish said...

What kind of apples should I use?

Lisa said...

Just made this salad tonight. Like many others, I didn't understand the fruit and mayo combo. You made it look so good that I had to give it a try. I'm so glad I did. It is delicious! I can't believe I haven't tried Waldorf salad before now. It's definitely going to be a part of my regular rotation now. Tonight I used honeycrisp and granny smith apples as well as celery root since that's what I had on hand. I'll give the celery root a try next time. Thanks Chef!

Sajol said...

I made a try after watching this video. The salad is really delicious. I just added nuts and chopped banana which made this fantastic to taste. Many thanks for this wonderful recipe.