Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Bittersweet Waldorf Salad

A classic Waldorf salad is made with celery, but regular celery is long gone. You can still get celeriac, but it is apt to be expensive and hard to find. Belgian endive makes a good substitute, bulked out with a little cabbage to help pull it out of the bitter and into the sweet.

Walnuts are the classic nut to go into a Waldorf salad, but I had pecans, and I think they worked better than walnuts would have anyway. Again, they are richer and sweeter and balance the Belgian endive a bit better.

4 servings
20 minutes prep time

Bittersweet Waldorf Salad

Make the Dressing:
3 tablespoons mayonnaise (light is fine)
3 tablespoons buttermilk
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon anise or fennel seed
1/8 teaspoon celery seed
3 or 4 black peppercorns

Whisk together the mayonnaise, buttermilk and salt. Grind the anise seed, celery seed, and peppercorns, and whisk them into the dressing. Set aside until the salad is ready.

Make the Salad:
1 large outer leaf of Savoy cabbage
1 large head Belgian endive
1 medium crisp apple
1/3 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

Wash and trim the large, though central stem out of the cabbage leaf. Cut it in half, stack the halves, and roll them into a cigar shape. Cut it into thin shreds. Trim the endive, cut it in quarters lengthwise, and likewise shred them into thin slivers.

Wash the apple, cut it in quarters and remove the cores, and cut each quarter into fairly fine dice - about the size of the chopped nuts. Chop the nuts, if they are not already chopped.

Mix the cabbage, endive, apple and nuts in a small mixing bowl and toss with the dressing.

Last year at this time - well, okay, last year for Christmas or maybe it was New Year's - I made Smoked Trout and Barley Salad, a much fancier and richer salad than this one.

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