As teenagers, my sister Regina and I both tried out for our high school play – the classic musical “Anything Goes” by Cole Porter. We had to learn a number of songs and dances and, to this day, I still remember many of the lyrics from that show!
One song we learned, “You’re The Top,” is about a man and a woman who take turns complimenting each other, and the song includes the lyrics, “…you’re the Waldorf Salad…” So when my husband Jack told me that he wanted us to feature his Waldorf Salad recipe here on A Family Feast, I couldn’t stop humming that song – and that lyric – all day long!
And there’s a very good reason why the Waldorf Salad is regarded so highly that it inspires song lyrics! It’s quite simply – delicious!
The Waldorf Salad is an American classic dating back to sometime between 1893 and 1896 when it was first created by Oscar Tschirky, maître d’hôtel (dining room manager) at the Waldorf Hotel. The original salad contained only apples, celery and mayonnaise served on top of a bed of lettuce, but over the years, chopped walnuts became a regular addition to this salad.
Jack’s version of the Waldorf Salad is one of the best I’ve had! It has all of the classic ingredients and more: Gala and Granny Smith apples, as well as pears are cut into long strips then tossed in a creamy, sweet mayonnaise-Crème fraîche dressing with wonderful hints of cinnamon, orange, and lemon that are so fantastic with the fruits in this salad. And grapes, celery and raisins, as well as sweetened, toasted walnuts add great texture and additional flavors to this fabulous salad!
Today, the Waldorf Salad is often served at special luncheons such as baby or wedding showers and afternoon teas – sometimes with chicken added in as well – but it makes a great, light meal any day of the year! We served our Waldorf Salad with some home-grown rocket greens on top, but baby arugula or other micro greens of your choice will work as well.