Waldorf Salad Jamie’s Way

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This speciality dish was created by Oscar Tschirky, maître d’hotel of the Waldorf Hotel in NYC in the 1890s. ‘Oscar of the Waldorf’ is also said to have developed Eggs Benedict and popularized Thousand Island Dressing. As Cole Porter sang, ‘You’re the top! You’re a Waldorf salad.’ This is a Big Apple classic from Jamie Oliver.

Ingredients

  • 4 large handfuls of interesting lettuce leaves (frisée, romaine, endive, rocket, watercress or anything else you fancy), washed and spun dry
  • 2 large handfuls of seedless or seeded green or red grapes, halved
  • 3 medium sticks of celery, trimmed
  • 2 large handfuls of walnuts, roughly crumbled
  • A Small bunch of fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 150g/5oz blue cheese, such as dolcelatte

Method

In a large bowl, toss together your leaves and your grapes. Use a speed-peeler to remove the stringy bits from the outside of your celery, then finely slice it on an angle and toss it in with the leaves and grapes.

Put a dry pan over a medium heat. Add the walnuts and give them a light toasting, shaking the pan every 25 seconds or so. Discard the tougher ends of your parsley stalks, and finely chop the rest of the stalks. Put these to one side, then chop the leaves and add to your salad bowl.

Make the salad dressing in a clean jam jar. Put the chopped parsley stalks into the jar with your mustard and vinegar, add three times as much extra virgin olive oil, then the yoghurt and finally a good pinch of salt and pepper. Screw the lid on tightly and shake it up nice and vigorously.

Drizzle enough dressing into the bowl to cover your leaves and scatter the walnuts over the top. Toss the salad gently.

Finally, using a knife, pare off little knobs of blue cheese and throw them into the salad bowl until you’ve a good amount — you don’t want to be scrabbling around the bowl to find a cheesy nibble, but nor do you want to overwhelm your mouth.

You could garnish your Waldorf with matchsticks of crispy red apple or pear, depending on season.

Finally: drizzle with a little good olive oil and serve.

For the Dressing

  • 1 heaped teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons white or red wine vinegar
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 heaped tablespoon natural yoghurt
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
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