I happened to reminisce about my old college days and think about dining hall food. Most foods served there were unremarkable, but one item made well was the Waldorf Salad. I realized that a lot of years have passed since I ate a Waldorf Salad. They don't appear often on restaurant menus and I simply forgot all about that salad. This recipe corrects my weak recall! It is a composite of different ones I found on the Internet, adjusted to suit me. One excellent suggestion I found was to leave the skins on the apple pieces ... and provided you select nice apples that is surely the right thing to do. Speaking of apples, choose types that are fairly crisp, not soft, as Gala or Granny Smith and a few other types will provide the best texture.
Janet and I tried the recipe ... we served it at a great dinner with friends Russ and Sue Gale ... and I doubled the amount of dressing called for in the original recipe (my doubled amount is reflected in this recipe). I'm really glad I did. Of course, the salad came out great!
What makes a Waldorf Salad really good is the sweetness and mild tartness combined with very different ingredient textures and tastes. They are very complementary, much like the fruit, nut and lettuce combinations found in the more modern Oriental salads. Waldorf Salad is also quite attractive and thus lends itself well to meals when you entertain. I hope you try it.
Ingredients: (5 to 6 servings)
Set the oven temperature at 325ºF. Roast the walnut halves on a cookie tray for about 8 minutes, then remove them from the oven, dump them from the hot tray onto a plate, and let them cool to room temperature. Break them into about four pieces each.
Combine the drained, thinly sliced or chopped apples and the additional lemon juice in a large bowl. If you want the salad to be very mild use just two tablespoons of lemon juice. To give it a bit more zing use three tablespoons of lemon juice. Add the sliced grapes, chopped celery and plumped raisins; toss gently but thoroughly. Refrigerate the mixture, covered in plastic wrap that touches the top of the ingredients, until it is needed.
Whisk together the mayonnaise, salt, pepper, apple juice and sugar in a small bowl. Pour/spoon it over the apple mixture, and toss gently.
Arrange the lettuce pieces on individual, chilled salad plates, cutting the leaves in half if you use romaine lettuce.
Mound the apple mixture on top and sprinkle it with the walnut pieces. We had all the salad ingredients cold already so we simply mixed the walnut pieces in with everything else before putting the salad on the lettuce leaves.
Chill the salads in the refrigerator for about thirty minutes if needed.
Serve cold. Yummy! Expect compliments.
Any extra Waldorf Salad will remain fresh and delicious if it is put into a sealed container, kept refrigerated and consumed within two days.