At the Waldorf

Recently I had the pleasure of a brunch invite to say goodbye to my dear friends that will be away for a couple months. Yes, there was prosecco to toast their speedy return. To my delight Tony had made Eggs Benedict and Eggs Florentine. One of each please! But it was one of the sides that brought me right back to my humble days of early chef-dom - a very classical and very good Waldorf Salad.

Waldorf-Astoria Hotel c1899

A bit behind the salad history: Oscar Tschirky, who was maître d’hôtel at the Waldorf Hotel in NYC is credited with creating this recipe in the 1890’s, as well as many other recipes. Veal Oscar anyone? I'll save that for another post.

Make this refreshing apple dish and check off one of your power foods. The Waldorf Salad is simply apples, celery and mayonnaise served on a lettuce leaf. But, that’s where it all begins. Walnuts became a common addition years later, as did grapes, other dried fruit such raisins, apricots and sultana. My friend Tony even opted to add the fore mentioned and cut the mayo with good Greek yogurt; which is very refreshing and lighter than all mayo or a combo mayo & unsweetened whipped cream. 

Things have changed since the 1890s, so go ahead and put your own spin on the Waldorf, Oscar won’t mind. Use culinary license, prepare it with apples and toasted nuts; cut the mayo, even sub with today’s olive oil mayo, which I prefer. Hey, serve some grilled chicken or shrimp on the side and you are talking a healthy main dish. 

Have a great weekend all - see you back here on Monday!

image credit, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C