A few years ago, I had a Waldorf salad at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York. It was memorable. No lettuce at all, just a pretty little stack of sliced apples, grapes, walnuts, and dressing, topped with microgreens.
My adaptation adds lettuce and some protein for a balanced, flavorful, colorful starter or even a meal for the family. The lettuce is finely sliced, as in a chopped salad. The apples and celery are diced into matchsticks. Grapes and walnuts are roasted a little, for more flavor. For four big servings, here goes!
- 1 head romaine lettuce
- 1 cup red grapes
- 1 cup walnut halves
- 1/2 cup whole milk Greek yogurt
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1 tablespoon honey (pasteurized, not raw)
- generous pinch of salt and pepper
- 1 crisp apple – Granny Smith, Honeycrisp, Pink lady, McIntosh, etc.
- 2 stalks celery
- protein – 4 soft or hard boiled eggs, some rotisserie chicken pieces, or roasted salmon slices
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Wash and dry the lettuce and slice it very thinly. Use a mandolin if you have one. Otherwise, slice the lettuce lengthwise a couple of times, then slowly slice crosswise into 1/8 inch slices with a sharp knife. Place in a large salad bowl.
- Slice the grapes in half lengthwise and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle the walnut halves over this. Spread into a single layer. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.
- While the grapes and walnuts are getting delicious, prepare the dressing in a medium bowl – stir together the yogurt, olive oil, lemon juice, honey, salt, and pepper.
- Core the apple (don’t peel) and slice it thinly into small batons or matchsticks. Slice the celery thinly. You can use your mandolin if you have it.
- Now put the apple, celery, grapes, and walnuts into the dressing and toss to combine.
- Spoon this over the lettuce, place protein on top, and there you have it! A little crunchy, a little sweet, a little roasted, a lot tasty!! Drizzle with extra vinaigrette from the store if you like.