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 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.
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.
- ¼ cup walnuts toasted*
- 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 grapes halved
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.
Walnuts are ready when they are slightly darker.
If toasting on a stove top, place the walnuts in a small, dry pan over medium heat. Toast for 1 - 2 minutes.
In a large bowl, mix together yogurt, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
Add apples, celery, red grapes and dates. Mix well and serve immediately.
Check your facts on what, where, when, why and how the Waldorf Salad came about…. Especially WHEN… Typo maybe….