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Waldorf Salad, Why The Name?

Waldorf Salad is an easy salad to make and may be used as a salad, an appetizer or in larger quantities, as a light meal. Yes, it’s an old dish and it’s so versatile! But who invented it and why is it named Waldorf?

First Invented For Charity

Waldorf Salad was first created for a charity ball given by St. Mary’s Hospital for Children on March 14, 1896 at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City.  The Waldorf’s Maitre d’hotel at the time, Oscar Tschirky, is credited with creating the dish, but the original recipe he created was only apples, celery and mayonnaise.  Nuts were added in 1928, as shown in that year’s The Rector Cook Book. No one knows who decided to add the green seedless grapes, but they’ve become a standard part of the recipe.

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Other Possible Ingredients

People being people, they like to add their own twist to the recipe by including other ingredients such as chicken, turkey,  or dried fruits (dates, raisins.) Other dressings are substituted at times, such as a seasoned mayonnaise or yogurt, which lends a different flavor to the dish. In another version, someone decided to replace celery with cauliflower, which still gives it the crisp crunch. And then, some cooks add orange or lemon zest for more tang to the salad.

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But the version most widely prepared is the simple recipe below, and it’s easy and delicious!

Easy Waldorf Salad Recipe

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Serves 5-6, as salad, 2-3 as main dish
Ingredients:
    • 2 to 3 apples, chopped
    • 4 to 5 celery, stalks, chopped
    • 1/2 to 3/4 cup walnuts, chopped
    • Halved green seedless grapes (optional)
    • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
    • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice (to keep apples from browning)
Instructions:
  1. Sprinkle lemon juice over chopped apples and stir to coat well, it will keep them from browning.
  2. Add remaining ingredients, including mayonnaise and mix well.
  3. Serve as a salad on a lettuce leaf or small salad bowl.
  4. If planning this salad as a meal, you might want to add some protein to it; chicken, turkey, boiled eggs, cheese, etc.

Enjoy! And if you’re looking for more salads, try the cook books below.