I love this Waldorf Salad – crisp and crunchy, sweet and salty, all the colours of Christmas in a bowl. I confess that Waldorf Salad was not a favourite of mine until I went to a party at my friend Danny’s. Danny is a fabulous cook and for many years ran a cafe, so an invite to his house is always a special treat. At a Christmas function a few years ago, Danny served this salad and had swapped out the walnuts for cashews to please his husband Sam because walnuts weren’t his favourite. Why didn’t I think of that? Danny uses Granny Smith apples and I added the grapes for extra sweetness and colour, but I think I have not strayed too far from his recipe ( well, maybe a little, but my memory is shocking). Anyway, it tastes fabulous, is a great contribution to a large gathering, and is perfect at a barbecue or serving with roasted meats.
Start with some nice crisp celery. I always buy on the day I am using as I can never fit it into my crisper and it goes limp very quickly.
Now I got a little carried away and chopped up 8 stems of celery. In my defence, I was making salads for 16 people, but I just got into a dicing zone and well, it may have been a bit much, but I just made the salad bigger. The recipe below will be more moderate!
Chopping continues with the apples and grapes:
I used pink lady apples for their tartness and colour (as I said Danny prefers Granny Smith – your choice!) and also halved red grapes, again for the colour and that little pop of sweetness they bring. Alternatively, you could use craisins, and one year I dressed with pomegranate arils, which looked fantastic and tasted great but turned the whole salad a pretty shade of pink. Hmm, grapes easier and cheaper! Before chopping the apples, squeeze a lemon into a bowl and then place the apples on top – this will stop them from going brown and the juice becomes part of the dressing. I like to dice the apples, but have previously tried thinly slicing. Elegant or a bit more pretentious? Mmmm, not my favourite in either case so returned to diced.
Combine apples, grapes, celery, juice and mayonnaise (I use a whole egg mayonnaise – this is the main part of the salad so it’s important to choose a good one) in a large bowl, add a little salt and pepper, then stir through the cashews. Ta-da! How easy was that? Pop in the fridge until ready to serve. If you are making several hours in advance, you may not want to add the cashews until serving to keep that lovely crunch.
- 400g celery stalks, diced (about 4-6 stalks)
- 200g red grapes
- 3 Pink Lady Apples
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 4 tbs whole egg mayonnaise
- 1 cup cashews
- salt and peper to taste
- Dice apples finely and coat with lemon juice to avoid browning. Add celery, halved grapes, mayonnaise and salt and pepper to taste. Stir through cashews.
- Turn into a serving bowl and refrigerate until ready to use. NB - if making well in advance, do not stir through cashews until ready to serve to retain their crunch