Waldorf salad is a great American classic, an easy fruit and nut salad recipe everyone loves. You can serve it any time of the year even as a dessert, especially during Thanksgiving and winter holidays when apples and walnuts are in season.
It is said this recipe was created for the first time in New York City in 1893 by Oscar Tschirky in occasion of a charity ball. He made a salad with red-skinned apples, celery and mayonnaise that he called "Waldorf" in honor of the Waldorf Astoria hotel where he was the maître d'hotel at that time.
The original recipe didn't call for walnuts, which were added later. The recipe we know today, in fact, has undergone many variations over the years. Today waldorf salad added to its classic ingredients – apples, celery and mayonnaise – also nuts, sugar, lemon juice, grapes.
All the flavors and textures are perfectly balanced, so tart, crisp apples and grapes matches the sweetness of sugar, and freshness of creamy mayonnaise dressing. Super easy to make also ahead of time, Waldorf salad is served on a bed of Bibb lettuce. It's always great for weeknights and potlucks.
A classic Waldorf salad is made with fresh fruit and nuts.
For the fruit, choose grapes and tart apples like Granny Smith, Fuji, Honey Crisp or Gala apples.
Nuts like walnuts or pecans are perfect.
Celery adds more texture.
For sweetness add sugar.
To make your Waldorf salad creamy use lemon juice and mayonnaise.
A classic Waldorf salad dressing is made with mayonnaise. Anyway, if you're looking for a light recipe, you can replace mayonnaise with 2 tablespoons of Greek yogurt.
You can customize your Waldorf salad as you want. Try to add mini marshmallows, raisins, dried cranberries or pineapples.
You can add whipped cream to give a more complex flavor to the dressing.
For a meatier recipe, you can stir in chicken, or turkey.
For a crunchy note, add broccoli, cauliflower, seeds, pecans or pistachios.
Chop ingredients evenly.
Make sure you mix all the ingredients well to coat the apple cubes and celery slices nicely with the salad dressing.
This salad tastes best when served chilled. Make it a day before and let it chill overnight before serving the next day.
For a shortcut, you can chill half of your ingredients for about 10 minutes in the freezer before making the salad.
Serve your Waldorf salad on a bed of fresh lettuce. If you want to serve it into individual portions, serve it in a Martini glass, on lettuce cups or even in a hallowed out apple.
You can store Waldorf salad in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, closed in an airtight container. It's best not to freeze it because of the mayonnaise.
In a medium bowl, add mayonnaise, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Whisk.
Stir in the apples, celery, grapes. Fold until combined with the dressing.
Serve your Waldorf salad on a leave of fresh lettuce. Enjoy!