It wasn’t enough, you see, for me to marry apples and pears in perfect union at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. I wanted more apples – apples raw and uncooked – to accompany our holiday meal. And when someone suggested the Waldorf salad, I yawned, been there done that. It’s a great and fabulous salad, but we’ve all had it before and it was time to do something slightly different.
For me, the regimented and anal-retentive Thanksgiving menu planning commences sometime in August. I start looking at various recipes, thinking about what to keep and what to toss, and what new recipes to introduce.
And I must admit to enjoying the “coming together” of things rather than the prer work that comes with cooking. All that chopping sometimes can get so monotonous, so I was grateful to have some lovely people around who pitched in and chopped, diced, sliced, separated eggs, mixed, blended and tasted. Without them, I would have been more frenetic and stressed out.
The good part about this salad, found in Bon Apetit of last year, is that it’s deliriously easy to make. Even the chopping is easy. I made it last year and the celery apple combination was so good, people gobbled it up in minutes. The apples serve as a perfect side to the turkey and the stuffing – the fruit cuts through the thick protein and bread adding a bit of that tartness.
Ingredients for the salad:
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
5 teaspoons honey
2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
½ tsp hot chili oil
1 large bunch celery with leaves
2 large Granny Smith apples, peeled, quartered, cored; each quarter cut into 2 wedges, then thinly sliced crosswise into triangle shapes
3/4 cup walnuts, toasted, chopped
Whisk first 3 ingredients in small bowl to blend. Gradually whisk in oil. Season vinaigrette with salt and pepper.
Trim celery leaves and chop enough to measure 1 cup. Thinly slice stalks on deep diagonal. Place celery pieces in bowl of cold water. (Vinaigrette, celery leaves, and celery pieces can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover separately and refrigerate.)
Drain celery; pat dry with paper towels. Combine celery, celery leaves, apples, and walnuts in large bowl. Add vinaigrette and toss to coat. Season salad to taste with salt and pepper.
Makes 8 servings.