This classic American salad gets a revamp with a lighter taste. Lots of crunch from the seasonal apples, celery and walnuts with mellow additions ~ kale, roasted squash, grapes and a creamy cinnamon yogurt drizzle. A new classic!
The original version of this salad contained only apples, celery and mayonnaise. In 1896 at New York’s Waldorf Hotel (just before it merged to become the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel), the maître d’hôtel, (dining room manager) created the wonderful Waldorf Salad.. and it was an instant success.
Over the years, chefs and home cooks have taken the original elements, and added their favorite complementary pairings. What has started out with just apples, celery and mayonnaise has morphed into a more complex salad.
Most popular variations include the additions of walnuts, grapes, chicken or turkey and raisins, usually served over sturdy lettuce leaves.
To redo this salad – I start with thinly sliced kale and celery massaged with a bit of extra virgin olive oil, a splash of orange juice and a touch of garlic. Then, delicata squash is roasted (the skin is edible, pretty to look at and delicious) and added with local apples, toasted walnuts and grapes. A heavenly combination with extra fiber and antioxidants… my new favorite waldorf salad! Vegan & Gluten-Free.
Recipe: Waldorf Salad with Roasted Delicata Squash, Kale and Apples
- 1 medium delicata squash, cleaned
- 4 large kale leaves, center ribs removed, cleaned, sliced thinly (1 cup)
- 2 medium ribs celery, peeled, sliced thinly
- 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 pinch salt & pepper
- ¼ teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed orange juice, (tip: cut a clementine and squeeze the juice!)
- 1 large red apple*, your favorite variety, cored and cut into long batonnet strips
- ½ cup walnut halves, toasted in the oven
- ½ cup fresh grapes, washed and dried, I used petite green ones
- 1 recipe Yogurt-Mayo Cinnamon Dressing, see belowMethod:Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Prick delicata squash all over with a small knife or skewer. Place on a plate and microwave for 2 minute to soften.
Cut in half lengthwise, and scoop out and discard the seeds. Cut the halves into 1/2″ half moons.Add them to a baking tray to fit. Add 1 T. of neutral oil, a pinch of salt and pepper and mix in. Roast until golden underneath, about 10 minutes. Turn over the pieces and continue to roast until tender and golden, about 20 minutes total.Place the squash in a bowl – add a squeeze of orange juice and a drizzle of maple syrup, as I do – if desired. Set aside.
Add kale and celery to a medium sized bowl. Add 1 t. olive oil, pinch of salt and pepper, garlic and orange juice. Massage all together, set aside.
Make the Yogurt-Mayo Cinnamon Dressing.
To plate the salad:
Place the kale-celery mixture on a large, decorative plate.
Top with roasted delicate squash, cut apples, toasted walnut halves and grapes.
Add sturdy lettuce leaves, such as “little gem” around the platter if desired.
Drizzle with dressing an enjoy!
While kale, walnuts, celery and delicate squash will contribute a dose of protein, feel free to add more of your favorite… sprinkle in your favorite plant-based one (such as quinoa), or diced poached chicken or turkey.
Yogurt-Mayo Cinnamon Dressing:
4 T. Greek Yogurt
3 T. Vegan Mayonnaise ( or your favorite type)
2 T. Orange Juice (tip: cut a clementine and squeeze the juice!)
1T. finely grated red onion with its juice, or minced
1/4t. finely grated or minced garlic
1 pinch salt & pepper
1 t. raw honey
Whisk all together in a small bowl, refrigerate in a clean glass container.
*If cutting the apple in advance, toss with a little orange juice & toss, so that it does not discolor.
This recipe may not be reproduced without the consent of its author, Karen Sheer
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