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Apple Waldorf Salad

Debra Redalia

 

 

This is my favorite recipe for the classic Waldorf Salad. This salad was created in 1896 at the famous Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York by the maitre d’. The original version contained only apples, celery and mayonnaise, but, of course, chefs and home cooks have been creating their own individual versions ever since.

I created this version many years ago. I used to eat it for lunch or dinner, as the whole meal. In fact, I would make a big bowl and eat it for several days. Instead of mayonnaise, I use yogurt, as its micro-organisms aid in digestion instead of just adding fat. Tastes good too.

It also contains kefir cheese, which you can probably find at a natural food store. Kefir cheese is a fermented dairy product like yogurt, but with a different strain of micro-organisms. It is basically kefir, with the liquid drained out, like yogurt cheese. If you can’t find it, substitute with Greek yogurt that is thicker than ordinary yogurt or just use more yogurt. I like adding kefir cheese, yogurt cheese, or cream cheese because it makes the yogurt thicker.

Traditionally, Waldorf Salad is made with tart apples, such as the green Granny Smith, but I like to use a variety of both sweet and tart apples with different color skins. Since the skins are left on, this makes a nice presentation, and also gives a variation in flavor. Each bite is a surprise!

Ingredients:

  • 3 parts apples (use any type you like, or a combination)
  • 1 part celery
  • 1 part walnuts or pecans, or a combination of both
  • 1 part raisins or currants
  • plain yogurt
  • kefir cheese, yogurt cheese or cream cheese

Instructions:

  1. Wash and core the apples, leavinm the skins on. Chop into pieces that are slightly smaller than bite-sized and place in a bowl.
  2. Clean celery and cut off bottoms. Chop the stalk into about a quarter-inch dice. I like to use the leaves too, but they are slightly bitter, so chop and add them to taste.
  3. Add to the chopped apples. Add nuts and raisins to the apply and celery.
  4. Mix until blended the yogurt and kefir cheese, yogurt cheese or cream cheese, about half and half (or adjust to desired consistency).
  5. Add yogurt mixture to the apple mixture and fold together until the apple mixture is well coated. Can be eaten immediately, but is better if refrigerated for a few hours.
  6. Serve on a lettuce leaf or over a bed of chopped lettuce.