Red Walnuts light up Waldorf Salad

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Waldorf Salad with Red Walnuts

Waldorf Salad with Red Walnuts

Prep 12 mins   Eat 12 mins

We are all looking for lighter fare now that the holidays are over.  This Waldorf Salad is light, delicious, filling for a main course and easy to make.  You can literally pull it together in 12 minutes with ingredients you probably have in your refrigerator.  Try it!

Use fresh ingredients found in your refrigerator!

Use fresh ingredients found in your refrigerator!

The beauty of the Waldorf Salad is you can substitute ingredients for others, but don’t leave out the key ingredients – apple, celery, walnuts and lettuce.

The red walnuts look like little jewels against the green of the lettuce, celery, avocado and apple.

The red walnuts look like little jewels against the green of the lettuce, celery, avocado and apple.

The Waldorf Salad is probably my all-time favorite salad. It has all my favorite ingredients in it. Apples, celery and walnuts are the traditional ingredients in a Waldorf Salad, but I always add in blue cheese or feta cheese, avocado and chunks of chicken or turkey when I have some available. Sometimes leftover chicken or turkey is what inspires me to make this salad!

The Waldorf-Astoria Hotel is glamorous with a capital "G".

The Waldorf-Astoria Hotel is glamorous with a capital “G”.

The Waldorf Salad was created by Oscar Tschirky the maitre d’ at the Waldorf Hotel in New York. They still serve the famous Waldorf Salad at Oscar’s Restaurant in the Waldorf Astoria Hotel located on famed Park Avenue. I had the good fortune of staying at the Waldorf Hotel numerous times when I was the West Coast Manager for McCall’s magazine. It was a short walk from our McCall’s offices that were located in what was then the historic Helmsley Building, which sits over Park Avenue between 42nd and 45th Streets and I believe, on top of Grand Central Station. I remember being in the Editor’s office and looking down at the cars driving under us on Park Avenue. It felt kinda weird!  It was a very cool place to be at the time. All very elegant and chic. But I think I appreciate the glamour of it all more today than I did back then in the present.

Waldorf Salad glammed up with fine china and fine silver.

Waldorf Salad glammed up with fine china and fine silver.

So now instead of a visit to the glamorous Waldorf Hotel, I can be all glamorous at home serving the Waldorf Salad on fine china with fine silver and glamorous red walnuts.

Red Walnuts from Sanguinetti - a gift at a Food Bloggers meeting.

Red Walnuts from Sanguinetti – a gift at a Food Bloggers meeting.

I was inspired to make a Waldorf Salad with the red walnuts from Sanguinetti that I received prior to the holidays. Red walnuts were bred to be creamy, nutty, with no bitter taste.  The red walnuts look like little jewels against the green backdrop of the salad. I dare say it is a work of art, almost too pretty to eat, but let’s not be ridiculous!

Waldorf Salad mixed up with leftover turkey, blue cheese and red walnuts.

Waldorf Salad mixed up with leftover turkey, blue cheese and red walnuts.

Mix it all up with a super easy mayo-vinaigrette. You can vary the dressing by how creamy you want it to be. But I used my evergreen friend, Best Foods mayonnaise combined with a fresh-made vinaigrette that if not in my refrigerator, can be whipped up in an additional 5 minutes . You can see my Vinaigrette Lesson here.

Today when I visit New York, I must take a walk through the glamorous Waldorf-Astoria Hotel and reminisce about a different time in my life. A time when making a glamorous Waldorf Salad was probably underappreciated by me and living a more glamorous lifestyle was where it was at.

Print this Recipe

Waldorf Salad

1 apple
2 ribs celery, sliced in 1/4″ pieces
3 cups lettuce leaves
1 cup cooked chicken or turkey, cut into 1/2″ chunks
1 ripe avocado
1/4 cup blue cheese or feta
2 Tablespoons mayonnaise
1 Tablespoon Vinaigrette
1/4 cup walnut pieces

1. Prep apple – cut in half and hollow out core with a melon baller.  Cut into a 1/2″ dice. Clean and slice celery. Chop lettuce leaves, wash and spin dry.

2. Chop chicken or turkey into cubes if you are using.  Cut an avocado in half, remove the seed and score the avocado meat into squares with a butter knife.

3. Mix the dressing ingredients – mayonnaise and vinaigrette in a small bowl or dressing shaker.

4. Combine lettuce, apple, celery and chicken or turkey into a bowl. Add in most of the blue cheese and the spoon out most of the avocado into the bowl. Toss it with the dressing.  Plate the salad on one big plate or two small plates. Top with the remaining blue cheese, avocado chunks and finally the beautiful red walnuts.

Servings: 2   525 calories per serving

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