This salad of apple and celery, now a classic, was created in the late 1890s by Oscar Tschirky, the maître d’hôtel at the Waldorf Astoria in New York.
Place the water, sugar and whole pecans in a saucepan, bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook for about 8–10 minutes. The syrup takes on a light colour and when the pecans are well coated, empty the contents of the saucepan onto a wire rack placed over a tray. Separate the pecans with a spatula so you don’t burn yourself. Allow to cool. Cut the celeriac and apples into matchsticks using a knife or a food processor. Place them in a bowl of cold water.
Combine all of the ingredients except the chives in a salad bowl.
Drain the celeriac and apples and dry them well with paper towels or a clean tea towel (dish towel). Combine them with the dressing. Add the chives and refrigerate. At serving time, add the caramelised pecans.
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