Waldorf Salads. Some people love them. Until recently, I wasn’t one of those people. Sure, I like celery, apples, and walnuts. I even like them together. I do not, however, like mayonnaise.
My sweet husband was asking from a fresh spin on classic salads the other night, and I looked in the fridge. We had celery, apples, and red grapes. In the pantry, I found a bag of walnut pieces. And so I put this together, and warily took a small bite. Then a larger bite. And then I ate a whole plate!
According to Wikipedia, the Waldorf Salad first originated in the mid to late 1890s, as a creation dreamed up by the maître d’ of the Waldorf Hotel (before they joined with the Astoria Hotel). Waldorf Salad nearly always has a creamy dressing, and can be served as an appetizer alone, or on a bed of lettuce for a light lunch or dinner.
When Jason asked me to freshen up the recipe, I immediately knew I needed to replace the mayonnaise if it was going to be something I’d be willing to eat. I started with a little bit of creme fraiche and buttermilk, and then added a few flavors from there.
The glazed walnuts elevate the dish, and the cut ribbons of basil add freshness. Try it and tell me what you think!
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 cup California Walnut pieces
- 1 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon dried tarragon
- 1/2 cup (about 4.5 oz) Crème Fraîche
- 2 tablespoons buttermilk
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 3/4 cup Granny Smith apple (from about 1 large apple)
- 1 cup chopped celery (from about 2 medium ribs)
- 1 cup red grapes
- 8 large basil leaves (plus more for garnish)
- 4 cups arugula leaves
- In a skillet or saucepan over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add the California walnuts, garlic salt, dried tarragon and freshly cracked black pepper. Stir frequently until toasty and golden brown, about 4 minutes. Remove from pan to cool down.
- In a small bowl, stir together the crème fraîche, buttermilk, lemon juice, salt, and freshly cracked black pepper.
- Core the apple and cut it into medium-sized diced pieces. Place in a medium-sized bowl.
- Trim the celery ribs. Cut each stalk lengthwise down the center and cut width-wise into 1/4 inch pieces. Put in bowl with apple pieces.
- Cut the grapes in half and add to bowl.
- Layer all the basil leaves on top of one another. Roll up basil leaves width-wise like a cigar, and cut with a sharp knife into 1/8 inch thick ribbons and add to bowl.
- Mix together, add the cooled glazed walnuts, and pour the Crème Fraîche dressing over the top. Stir to combine.
- Arrange 1 cup packed arugula on each plate.
- Place 3/4 cup of the Waldorf Salad over the top of the arugula.
- Top with additional ribbons of basil and enjoy!
- This makes a fantastic light and refreshing luncheon with a glass of bubbly!