Modern Waldorf Salad

A Modern Waldorf Salad.  This recipe is a fresh take on a classic salad.  

I have a vivid memory of trying my first Waldorf salad as a child.  I remember it was a fight with my mother to eat it.  “I don’t want mayonnaise on my apples; it makes no sense!”, I fussed in my outside voice.   I lost the fight and reluctantly speared up a bright green apple cube covered in a thin layer of the mayonnaise-based dressing with my fork.  I figured I’d start with the most familiar food.  I survived the first crunchy bite of the apple.  The tart-sweet taste of the apple and tangy dressing was pleasing.  I tried a green grape.  That combination was even better, sweeter.  Before I knew it, I had gobbled my way through my first Waldorf salad and liked it.  Childhood lesson learned:  Don’t judge things until you try them.  I later learned that applies to people too.

A Little Waldorf Salad History

  • The original Waldorf salad was created in 1986 for a charity event at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City.
  • The original recipe had apples, celery and grapes and no walnuts. The dressing was mayonnaise based and the ingredients sat on a bed of lettuce.
  • Over the years the recipe has been altered using chicken, turkey, dried fruit, yogurt dressing, orange or lemon zest and even cauliflower!

In my version, I’ve replaced the mayonnaise with 2% Greek yogurt and included Medjool dates and toasted walnuts.

Here’s What You Need

¼ cup walnuts, toasted and chopped*
⅓ cup 2% Greek yogurt
2 teaspoon lemon juice
Kosher salt to taste
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 cups chopped apples
¼ cup chopped celery
¼ cup Medjool dates, seeds removed and cut into thin strips

¼ cup red or green grapes, halved

 

Keep an eye on your nuts, they can burn easily on the stove top.

Chopping nuts is a great way to work on your knife skills.  These should be roughly chopped.

*Toasted Walnuts
Walnuts can be toasted in the oven or in a pan on a stove top.  If toasting in the oven (I like to use my toaster oven), preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spread out on evenly on a baking sheet.  Make sure the nuts aren’t overlapping each other.  Toast for 5 – 7 minutes, checking often to avoid burning.  You’ll know their ready when a toasty walnut smell is in the air and they look slightly darker.  If they toast too much they will taste bitter.  Let walnuts cool completely, then roughly chop.  Set aside.
 
If toasting on a stove top, place the walnuts in a small, dry pan over medium heat. Toast for 1 – 2 minutes.  Watch the walnuts, they burn easily.  Like the oven method, the nuts will turn slightly darker and you’ll smell toasty walnuts in the air.
 

Helpful Hint – How to store your Medjool Dates

A vendor at the Hollywood Farmer’s Market gave me a helpful hint for storing my dates. Keep them in a bag in the refrigerator for a longer shelf life. They should be good for 45 days at room temperature; 6 months in the refrigerator; and 1 year frozen. Make sure to write an expiration date on the bag.

This fresh, crunchy version of the Classic Waldorf Salad is a great starter dish.  If you have leftovers, they're great for breakfast the next day.

 

Modern Waldorf Salad

This recipe is a fresh take on a classic salad.  

Course Salad
Cuisine American
Keyword creamy salad, easy salad recipe, traditional salad
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 149 kcal
Author Lisa Marie Todd

Ingredients

  • ¼  cup  walnuts toasted*
  • ⅓  cup  2% greek yogurt
  • teaspoon  Lemon juice
  •   Kosher salt to taste
  •   Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • cups  chopped apples
  • ¼  cup  chopped celery
  • ¼  cup  Medjool dates seeds removed and cut into thin strips
  • ¼  cup  red grapes halved

Instructions

*TOASTED WALNUTS

  1. If toasting in the oven (I like to use my toaster oven), preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Spread out on evenly on a baking sheet. Make sure the nuts aren’t overlapping each other.
  3. Toast for 5 - 7 minutes, checking often to avoid burning.
  4. Walnuts are ready when they are slightly darker.
  5. If toasting on a stove top, place the walnuts in a small, dry pan over medium heat. Toast for 1 - 2 minutes.

SALAD

  1. In a large bowl, mix together yogurt, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
  2. Add apples, celery, red grapes and dates. Mix well and serve immediately.
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