Apple or what some call Waldorf salad is a classic. Chopped apples are combined with sliced or diced celery and walnuts then covered with a dressing made from mayonnaise. It is a standard salad that has been listed on restaurant menus around the country for the past 100 years or more. The salad was a favorite to serve at luncheons. It is a nice salad to serve at this time of the year because of the abundance of apples at roadside stands and in markets.
The first recipe for the salad was published in ‘The Cook Book by Oscar of the Waldorf’ in 1896. That recipe contained no nuts, only apples and celery dressed with mayonnaise. By the 1920s chopped walnuts were listed in the ingredients. Some versions use plain mayonnaise, others add a touch of garlic or sugar. My Mother always used sugar and a little paprika. The dressing is thinned with a tablespoon or so of milk or cream.
This recipe will serve at least 4. The salad keeps well in the refrigerator and can be made the night or day before wanted.
Apple or Waldorf Salad
- 2 cups of apples, diced, peeled or unpeeled
- 1 tablespoon or more of lemon juice
- 1 cup of celery, sliced thin or diced
- 1 cup of walnuts, chopped
- 1 cup of mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon of sugar or to taste
- 2 or more tablespoons of milk
The apples can be peeled or not. Cut the apples into small pieces about ½ inch in size. Place the chopped apples in a bowl and toss with a tablespoon or more of lemon juice so they will not turn brown. Cut celery ribs into thin slices or small dice. Toss the celery with the apples. The walnuts can be toasted in a frying pan or in the oven if you want. Mix the walnuts in with the apples and celery.
In a small bowl whisk 1 cup of mayonnaise with a tablespoon or more of sugar. Mix in a tablespoon or so of milk or cream until it is the consistency you want. Pour the dressing over the salad ingredients and toss to coat everything.
Place crisp lettuce leaves in small bowls or on salad plates. Pile the salad on top of the leaves. Cover and refrigerate any leftovers. This salad makes a good midnight snack.
A pinch of salt improves the dressing.
White or brown sugar can be used in the dressing. A tablespoon of honey could be used instead of sugar.
Pears can be combined with the apples or used instead of apples.
Green or read grapes cut in half can be added.
A half cup of raisins can be added.
Pineapples or apricots, diced, can be added.
Shredded, diced or crumbled cheese of almost any type goes well in this salad. The contrast with the slightly sweet dressing is nice.