Friday, February 19, 2010

Waldorf Salad

Here's what Farmer John had for us at the Silver Lake pick-up this week:

Baby bok choy
Young red onion
Green garlic
Tat soi
Red leaf lettuce
Curly mustard
Chicoria (dandelion greens)

It's hard for me to imagine a world without celery. Celery's distinctive flavor plays an important supporting role in so many dishes from pot roast to chicken soup, from vegetable stock to egg salad. In addition to the ubiquitous stalks, celery root and celery seeds are delicious ingredients in their own right.

This week's recipe for Waldorf Salad is an easy dish where celery is part of an ensemble of more or less equal players. Waldorf Salad is a great winter salad. Even though apple season is over, apples keep well in cold storage for months and are a good seasonal winter fruit. Choose a crisp red apple, such as honey crisp or gala. The red color contrasts nicely with the pale green celery

Waldorf Salad

4 ribs celery
3 medium crisp red apples
1/3 C toasted walnuts, coarsely chopped
1/4 C mayonnaise
1-2 T fresh lemon juice
1-2 T apple juice, optional
freshly grated nutmeg

1. Wash and trim celery ribs, removing the leafy tops and peeling any tough, stringy parts, if desired. Put the trimmings in the compost.

2. Thinly chop the celery crosswise (about 1/8 inch).

3. Quarter apples lengthwise. Core and seed apples, but do not peel. Compost the cores and seeds.

4. Cut quarters in half again lengthwise and then chop each piece into 1/2 inch chunks.**

5. Mix the dressing by combining 1/4 C mayonnaise with 1 T fresh lemon juice (or a little more, if desired). For a sweeter dressing, add 1-2 T apple juice or a teaspoon of sugar.

6. Combine the celery, apples, and chopped toasted walnuts. Pour dressing over and toss well to coat.

7. Grate fresh nutmeg to taste over salad and toss again.

8. Serve immediately or refrigerate for several hours before serving.

Serves 4-6

**To prevent chopped apples from turning brown while you work, it helps to put them in a bowl of cold water with a little added lemon juice once they're chopped. Drain and dry before mixing them into the salad.

Fresh mint is a nice additional flavor for a Waldorf Salad. If you have some fresh mint in your garden, consider adding it to this salad.



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