According to the American Century Cookbook, the first Waldorf Salad was created in New York City in 1893, by Oscar Tschirky, the maître d'hôtel of the Waldorf Astoria. The original recipe consisted only of diced red-skinned apples, celery, and mayonnaise. Chopped walnuts were added later to this now American classic. Some prefer their Waldorf salad made with yogurt, instead of mayo.
I am making a few more substitutions. I am using Bartlett pear instead of apple and green grapes rather than red. That is only because that is what I have on hand. The two substitutions I cannot make are the celery and walnuts. Walnuts and celery must be in a Waldorf. This salad is also crying for a nice piece of bleu cheese, isn't it. My version is a nice monochromatic salad.
Sarah's Waldorf Salad Recipe
- 1/2 cup chopped, slightly toasted walnuts
- 1/2 cup celery, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup green seedless grapes, sliced (or a 1/4 cup of raisins)
- 1 Bartlett pear, cored and cubed
- 3 Tbsp mayonnaise (or yogurt)
- 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- wedge of a good blue cheese
- wedge of pear for garnish
- crisp salad greens