The original Waldorf salad is a simple salad with only 3-4 ingredients. The traditional Waldorf salad is not considered to be authentic unless it has apples, celery and mayonnaise. Walnuts were added at a later date.
The Waldorf salad is aptly named after the New York City Park Avenue hotel, the Waldorf Astoria, where it first saw the light of day. This simple chopped salad made its debut at a charity ball held at the New York hotel in aid of St Mary’s Hospital for Children in 1893. It’s quick to put together and it can be made ahead of time and served for lunch, brunch, or dinner.
This more modern interpretation of the Waldorf salad adds salad greens and chicken and bacon for more protein. I also added a couple of kinds of nuts and a honey mustard dressing rather than mayonnaise. Some versions of the Waldorf use a yogurt-based dressing. The yogurt is tart so you may want to add a little honey to it.
There is much discussion and decision-making that arises when making a Waldorf salad. What type of apples should you use? Some people prefer a tart red apple such as a honey crisp or a gala. Others argue that a green-skinned apple such as a Granny Smith is preferable because not only is it tart but it is also crisp. Whatever you choose, it is best to add the apple at the end and grate it rather than slicing or cubing it.
I use whatever nuts I have in the pantry. I think that you should always use walnuts or pecans. I also like to use almonds and seeds such as pumpkin or sunflower seeds. Always toast the nuts and seeds before adding them to the salad to maximize their flavor.
This salad can be arranged on a platter or mixed in a bowl. I prefer to present the salad in layers on a platter. The Waldorf salad is a complete meal and can be served for brunch, lunch, or dinner.
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