The Waldorf salad is said to have been created by Oscar Tschirky, a maitre d'hotel of the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City. The hotel opened in 1893, and the recipe appeared in his comprehensive cookbook, The Cook Book by Oscar of the Waldorf (1896). The salad was simply made with apples, celery, and mayonnaise, and it quickly became a favorite in other hotel restaurants. Walnuts were included in George Rector's recipe in The Rector Cookbook (1928). Walnuts became a standard ingredient after that. The recipe in The Waldorf Astoria Cookbook (1981) also includes walnuts.
This is a classic Waldorf salad recipe with lightly sweetened apples and walnuts, brought together with a creamy mayonnaise and whipped cream dressing.
Choose this delicious salad for a Thanksgiving meal or any special dinner. I like dried cranberries in the salad because they add texture and extra flavor.
- 3 medium golden delicious or red delicious apples (about 2 to 2 1/2 cups cubed)
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 dash salt
- 1 cup thinly sliced celery
- 1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
- 1/2 cup cold whipping cream
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- mixed salad greens or lettuce leaves
Wash the apples but do not peel them. Core the apples and cut them into 1/2-inch cubes. Sprinkle the cubed apples with sugar, lemon juice, and salt. Add celery and nuts and toss to blend.
In a medium bowl with an electric mixer, whip the cream to stiff peaks.
With a rubber or silicone spatula or spoon, gently fold the mayonnaise into whipped cream.
Fold mayonnaise and cream mixture gently into apple mixture.
Serve the salad on mixed salad greens or large lettuce leaves.
Tips and Variations
- If you can't get golden or red delicious apples, use any good crisp, sweet eating apple in the recipe.
- Add 1/4 cup of raisins or dried cranberries for extra flavor, texture, and color.
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"The Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink," John Mariani