ATG’s Winter Waldorf Salad

Waldorf salad recipeAs a tribute to the historic Waldorf Astoria Hotel on Park Avenue in New York City, currently under renovation with plans to reopen with condominiums, we’re featuring our own recipe for a winter Waldorf Salad, along with a few more “official” recipes. A healthy addition to any meal, or even a meal unto itself, we hope you enjoy!

Waldorf Salad

Ingredients for the salad:
1 head of Romaine Lettuce
1/4 – 1/3 cup of Roasted Salted Pecans
1/4 – 1/3 cup of fresh bite-sized chopped Parmesan Cheese
1/4 -1/3 cup dried cherries and cranberries, roughly chopped (we use Mariani brand)
1/2 of bite-sized large apple (we use Cripps Pink or any crisp firm winter apple)

Ingredients for the dressing (Sweet & Sour):
1/2 cup heavy cream or whipping cream
1/3 cup sugar
1/6 cup Colavita Champagne Wine Vinegar
1/2 tsp. salt

Make dressing and refrigerate for 30-60 minutes. Prepare salad in a beautiful winter-inspired serving bowl. Pour desired amount of dressing on salad and toss.

Today’s Official Recipe for Waldorf Salad*  (taken from here)

Ingredients for the walnuts:
2 cups walnut halves
1 egg white
1 tbsp. of spice mixture (paprika, cayenne, coriander)
1 cup sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Combine the walnuts and egg white. Add spice mixture and sugar and mix until evenly coated. Spread nuts in an even layer on baking sheet and roast for 15-20 minutes being careful not to burn.

Ingredients for the dressing:
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/2 cup crème fraîche
3 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
Fresh ground White Pepper
1/4 cup Walnut oil
1/&1/2 tbsp. minced Black Winter Truffles (optional)

Combine the yogurt, crème fraîche and lemon juice until thoroughly mixed. Then add the oil and pepper and truffles, if desired.  Set aside.

Ingredients for the salad:
1/2 cup celery
2 large Granny Smith apples, unpeeled
2 large Gala apples, unpeeled
2 dozen red grapes, halved lengthwise
1/2 cup micro greens or celery leaves

Julienne the celery and apples into matchstick-size strips and gently fold the dressing into the apple mixture. To assemble salad place the apple/leaves mixture on plate and scatter grapes and walnuts and serve.

*Just exactly what the recipe for the original Waldorf Salad was seems hard to come by, but it is attributed to the famous maitre d’hotel Oscar Tschirky or “Oscar of the Waldorf” in 1893. Whatever it was, it seems it was a much simpler salad than what it is today with only apples, celery possibly grapes and a mayo dressing. There are many different versions claiming to be the original.

The following two recipes are as close to what could have been the original:

Original Waldorf Salad (version I)

6 tbsp. mayonnaise (or plain yogurt)
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. salt
Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
2 sweet apples. cored and chopped
1 cup red seedless grapes. sliced in half
1 cup celery, thinly sliced
1 cup chopped, slightly toasted walnuts

Original Waldorf Salad (version II)

2 celery ribs
1/2 cup red grapes
1/2 cup walnuts
2 apples
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
1 lemon

Apples, Apples, Apples — All Things Apples

recipes for fall“Man has been munching on apples for about 750,000 years, ever since the food gatherers of early Paleolithic times discovered sour, wild crab apples growing in the forests in Kazakhstan Central Asia.” Apple Cookbook (2001) by Olwen Woodier

‘Tis the season for apple pie baking! While bakers everywhere are busy rolling out the pie dough, Cornell University’s New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva, New York has been busy rolling out 66 apple varieties for more than a century including Cortland, Empire, Jonagold, Jonamac, and Macoun.

In her book Apple Lover’s Cookbook, Amy Traverso writes about her visit with Susan Brown, one of the horticulture professors and apple breeders at the 50-acre lab in Geneva near Lake Seneca where they breed, develop and produce apples that are ever more appealing to the tastes of consumers, who tend to favor crisp, juicy and firm varieties.

Along with satisfying the taste buds of consumers, the horticulturalists also experiment with fortifying the health benefits (“an apple a day keeps the doctor away”) by breeding apples that have as much vitamin C as oranges and those that have high levels of quercetin, a natural antioxidant that may have a role in protecting the brain cells from Alzheimer’s disease.

Ms. Traverso explains that the display of apples she saw during her visit was “a beautiful still life of diversity” and was “evidence of how many different traits are coded in the apple’s approximately 56,000 genes, (the human genome has somewhere between 20,000 and 25,000 genes), the sequence of which was only recently decoded.”

Today, one doesn’t have to travel far to see the “beautiful still life of diversity” that Ms. Traverso recounts. It seems every fall one can find at least one new variety of apple with a “jazzy” name in the local market, crisply displayed with the abundance of varieties developed and grown across the globe – from Honey Crisp (developed by the University of Minnesota and released in 1991 to consumers) to Ginger Gold (Virginia), Snapdragon and Ruby Frost (both from Cornell), Cripps Pink (Pink Lady from Australia), and Jazz (developed in New Zealand).

As we approach the end of October, when time falls back and apples fall to the ground, ATG celebrates All Things Apples by “picking” a variety of apple recipes to share through the end of the month.

easy apple dessert recipes

Spiced Apple Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting (taken from The Apple Lovers Cookbook by Amy Traverso)

These cupcakes are really yummy – very moist and flavorful and easy to make!

Note: This recipe has a large yield, 24 cakes. However, you can cut the recipe in half fairly easily; most everything divides into two except for the eggs and the boiled cider. In that case, use 2 eggs plus 1 egg yolk and 3 & 1/2 tablespoons boiled cider.  Also, for the baking powder, 1 & 1/2 teaspoons is equal to 1/2 tablespoon.

Ingredients for the cupcake:
2 sticks butter (16 tablespoons), room temperature
2 cups sugar
3 & 1/2 cups flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 & 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
5 large eggs, room temperature (if cutting recipe in half, use 2 eggs and 1 egg yolk)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/3 cup boiled cider (see notes below)
1 cup whole or 2% milk, room temperature

Apple cinnamon cupcakes recipe


  1. Using a mixer combine the butter and sugar at medium-high speed until pale and very fluffy (7-10 min.).
  2. Add 1 egg at a time to fully whipped butter/sugar mixture making sure to use all 5 eggs. Add the vanilla.
  3. In medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and ginger in a medium bowl.
  4. In a small bowl stir the boiled cider into the milk.
  5. Add about a third of the flour mixture to the butter/sugar mixture with a little bit of the milk/cider and stir until just combined and then repeat the process two more times until both mixtures are thoroughly combined.
  6. Fill greased muffin tins two-thirds of the way and bake at 325-335 degree Foven for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Note: I did not have boiled cider so substituted with homemade applesauce making sure the consistency was thin and smooth. I cut up 2-3 Macintosh apples and cooked them in a saucepan with a little bit of a local apple cider to keep it on watery side. Or you can make your own boiled cider (see here) or order a pint from King Arthur Flour at this link.

Ingredients for the frosting:
2 packages cream cheese, room temp.
8 tbsp. (1 stick) butter, room temp.
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Combine cream cheese, butter, confectioners’ sugar, cinnamon and vanilla and mix until smooth and creamy.  Note: for a lighter frosting which doesn’t have a heavy cream cheese/butter taste cut back on the cream cheese to maybe 1 & 1/2 packages and maybe 5-6 tablespoons of butter.

Butternut Squash Bisque (taken from Simon Pearce)

1 large squash
1 large onion
8 cup water
8 ounces unsalted butter
1 cup of cream
1 cup apple cider
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg

Butternut squash soup recipe


  1. Combine the butternut squash, onion and water in a sauce pot.
  2. Place over medium high heat and bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce the heat and simmer until just tender.
  4. Drain the butternut squash and onions from the water.
  5. Place the butternut squash in to the blender.
  6. Then add the following the remaining ingredients and blend the mixture well.

Waldorf Salad (taken from Apple Cookbook by Olwen Woodier)

3 medium apples (any apple that is crisp and firm)
3 stalks of celery, diced
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
3/4 cup heavy or whipping cream
2 tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. ground white pepper (we preferred a couple of sprinklings of black pepper)
4 mint leaves or 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley – optional
1 head of Boston lettuce (we used Romaine)

Waldort salad recipe


  1. Chill a medium-sized bowl for beating the cream.
  2. Core and dice the apples.  Place in large bowl.
  3. Add the celery and walnuts to the apples.
  4. Sprinkle lemon juice over apples and walnuts.
  5. Beat the cream until thick and stands in soft peaks, stir into apple mixture.
  6. Sprinkle mint or parsley on top (we substituted diced red grapes on top)
  7. Serve on lettuce leaves

For more Fall recipes, including a recipe for delicious homemade apple cider donuts, please see here.