You've probably figured it out by now, but I'm kind of a total geek. I like geeky things (I'm married to an aspiring computer programmer - need I say more?) and I like to pick up quirky skills and I'm okay with that. So, as any geek that was traveling to New York City this past summer might do, I bought a book on New York City. Not just a brief overview of the major sights, though. A 384 page book about the history of New York, building by building.
Needless to say, I thought it was awesome.
I read the entire thing, even though the publisher's description of the book specifically said, "Not for cover-to-cover reading. . . " For an entire month, I was jam-packed with weird bits of New York trivia.
It's not surprising, then, that when I was in New York I was still spouting tidbits of New York info. My mother-in-law's travel agent had suggested the Waldorf-Astoria as a place to stay and of course I had to look up all the info on that historic hotel as well. So, as I was telling my patient sister-in-law about the hotel ("Did you know Cole Porter lived here? Did you know it was two hotels, the Waldorf and Astoria and they merged? Did you know the original Waldorf-Astoria was where the Empire State Building now stands?") I also mentioned it was where the Waldorf salad originated from.
That's when my sister-in-law gave me a blank look and asked what the heck a Waldorf salad was.
I thought everyone had grown up eating Waldorf salads on occasion. The combination of apples, walnuts, celery and mayonnaise is classic. Of course, when I really thought about it, the last time I made a Waldorf salad was . . . . well, never. I can't even remember the last time I even ate a Waldorf salad. Somehow it seems to have been forgotten by my generation.
Since I really like the crunchy combination of apples, walnuts and celery, I decided to make a Waldorf salad when I got back from New York. The more I thought about making the salad, the more I thought that it would be fun to make a modern Waldorf salad; a salad that hopefully would have some of that great retro appeal of the original Waldorf salad combined with flavors that are popular right now, too. This version is definitely more 2011 - it has a light citrus vinaigrette, no mayo, and some whole grain thrown in. The celery, the walnuts and the apples are still there, but they are joined by some craisins, green onions and fresh mint. The resulting salad is a light-tasting winner that can double as a side dish or light lunch. The quinoa gives it great texture, but you could substitute any favorite grain. You can serve it on top of lettuce like a traditional Waldorf salad, or just in bowls without any lettuce at all. If you like the original Waldorf salad, or even if you don't, give this salad a try new time you are looking something a little different, a little healthier, and with a bit of a modern twist.
Prep Time: 10 min Cook Time: 15 min Ready in: 25 min Serves: 6
Recipe Source: Adapted from www.epicurious.com