Waldorf Salad

21 Feb

Late in the game—the book has already been designed, laid out, and copy edited once—my editor and I decided that The Apple Lover’s Cookbook really needs a Waldorf Salad recipe. I wanted it to be substantial, though, and not mayonnaise-y like the traditional salad. Adding rotisserie chicken and using a blend of Greek yogurt and mayo in the dressing solved those problems. I also wanted lots of walnuts, some lemon, and tarragon, and halved red grapes instead of raisins. I kept the celery and the apple, but left the fruit out of the creamy dressing so that it still looks pretty.

Waldorf Salad

Apple Notes: You want apple varieties that resist browning. Some examples: Cortland, Ginger Gold, Spigold, and Fuji.

Active time: 30 minutes; Total time: 30 minutes
Makes: 4 servings as a lunch entree, 6 as a side dish
Notes: If you don’t like tarragon, you can substitute parsley, chervil, or chives. A 1 1/2 pound rotisserie chicken will give you enough meat for this salad.

For the dressings:
1/4 cup (60 ml) fresh lemon juice, divided
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1/3 cup (about 3 ounces or 100 g) reduced fat Greek-style yogurt
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 tablespoon minced fresh tarragon (see Notes)
1 teaspoon honey
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons (about 1/2 ounce or 18 g) minced sweet onion, such as Walla Walla or Vidalia

For the salad:
2/3 cup (75 g) walnut pieces
1/2 pound (226 g) breast and/or thigh meat from a rotisserie chicken (see Notes)
1 1/2 large celery stalks (about 4 ounces or 113 g), very thinly sliced crosswise
1 cup (about 6 ounces or 175 g) halved seedless red grapes
1 medium salad-friendly apple (about 6 ounces or 170 g, see Apple Notes) cored and cut into thin wedges.
6 ounces butter lettuce

Equipment: 8- to 12-inch heavy-bottomed skillet

1. First, make the dressings: In a small bowl, whisk together 1 tablespoon lemon juice with the olive oil and 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt. Set aside. In another small bowl, stir together the yogurt, mayonnaise, tarragon, honey, lemon zest, remaining salt, and pepper. Stir in onion. Set aside while you prepare the salad.

2.  Toast walnuts in skillet over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until brown and fragrant, about 10 minutes. Pour into a medium bowl and let cool as you prepare the chicken: Remove any skin and tear the chicken into 2- or 3-inch strips. Add to the bowl with the walnuts. Add the celery and the yogurt dressing and stir so that everything is evenly covered.

3. In your serving bowl, toss the lettuce, grapes, and apple slices with the lemon-oil dressing. Spoon the chicken mixture over all. Use your hands to lightly fluff the leaves and grapes, just to make it look pretty. Serve on chilled salad plates.

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One Response to “Waldorf Salad”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Tweets that mention Waldorf Salad « New England Eating -- Topsy.com - February 22, 2011

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Judy Chen, amytraverso. amytraverso said: Here's the salad that needs testing: http://bit.ly/eoH58g […]

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