Indulge in the delectable flavors of a Classic Waldorf Salad that boasts a unique twist. Customize the ingredients to suit your taste buds, and enjoy this recipe as a light meal or a side dish.
Why is it called Waldorf salad?
The answer lies in its origin story, which dates back to a historical event that took place in 1893.
It all began with a charity ball held on March 14th of that year, in honor of St. Mary’s Hospital for Children. The event marked the opening of a brand new hotel in New York City, known as the Waldorf hotel. This luxurious establishment, owned by William Waldorf Astor, quickly became the talk of the town, and its grand opening was a highly anticipated affair.
As part of the charity ball’s menu, the hotel’s maître d’hotel, Oscar Tschirky, created a simple yet elegant salad featuring diced apples, celery, and a creamy mayonnaise dressing. The Waldorf salad, as it was named, was an instant hit among the guests, and its popularity quickly spread beyond the confines of the ballroom.
Over time, the Waldorf salad recipe evolved to include additional ingredients, such as walnuts, grapes, and chicken. However, the core components of the salad remain the same, and its name continues to pay homage to the Waldorf hotel and the memorable evening that gave birth to this iconic dish.
What is Waldorf salad dressing made of?
The original Waldorf salad dressing consisted of just mayonnaise, salt, and pepper. While this classic combination still works well, it can sometimes feel a bit one-dimensional and heavy. To elevate the dressing and give it a little extra oomph, many recipes now incorporate a mix of mayonnaise and Greek yogurt.
Greek yogurt adds a delightful tanginess to the dressing, while also providing a lighter, healthier alternative to mayonnaise. By combining these two ingredients, you get the best of both worlds – the creamy richness of mayo and the zesty freshness of yogurt.
To make the dressing for your Waldorf salad, simply whisk together some mayonnaise, Greek yogurt, salt, and pepper. Adjust the seasoning to taste, and feel free to add in any other herbs or spices you like, such as dill or garlic.
Classic Waldorf Salad
- ½ cup of creamy mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon of granulated white sugar
- 1 teaspoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice
- A pinch of salt
- 3 crisp apples peeled, cored, and diced
- 1 cup of thinly sliced celery
- ½ cup of chopped walnuts
- ½ cup of plump raisins optional
- 1 cup grapes halved; optional
- Begin by whisking together the mayonnaise, sugar, lemon juice, and salt in a serving bowl. This will create a creamy, tangy dressing that is the perfect complement to the fresh ingredients.
- Next, add in the diced apples, thinly sliced celery, chopped walnuts, and plump raisins of grapes (if using). Mix everything together well to ensure that the dressing coats each ingredient, providing a delicious burst of flavor in every bite.
- Once everything is combined, cover the bowl and let the salad chill in the refrigerator until you're ready to serve. The cool, refreshing flavors of this Waldorf Salad will be a hit at any meal, whether it's a quick lunch or a fancy dinner party. For an extra boost of protein, try adding some diced, roasted chicken to transform this dish into a hearty, satisfying meal. Enjoy!