Winter Waldorf Salad

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Waldorf salad has always been a favourite of mine. I’m sometimes wary of fruit in savoury things but I love the combination of the crunchy cabbage and celery with the sweet apple and raisins. The toasted walnuts and creamy but tart dressing round off the range of flavours, which although varied and seemingly a bit random somehow just work when they’re all thrown together here. I’ve opted for red cabbage over white as it’s still in season and makes a nice bright addition to the ingredients line-up. It also turns the whole salad a pale shade of pink when mixed with the dressing which for some reason I find pleasing.

In the Christmas aftermath with New Years resolutions abound I’m trying to incorporate a bit more raw food into my diet and while not totally raw this salad does far better in those stakes than a soup or a stew so I chalk it up as a healthy option. Yes the dressing is based on mayonnaise, but the recipe makes a huge bowl so it doesn’t actually work out as that much per portion. Plus I tend to take the view that it’s better to have a salad with a tasty dressing that you’ll actually eat, rather than one without dressing that you’ll just end up pushing around your plate. It’s just about balance, innit?

The salad is quite filling so is perfect for lunch on its own but it’s also great on the side of something more substantial for supper (I had it first for lunch then with veggie burgers the next day for supper). I hope you’ll give it a try!

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Winter Waldorf Salad

Makes: 1 large bowl – enough for 2-3 as a main or 4-6 as a side

Prep time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 50g walnut pieces
  • 1/2 small red cabbage
  • 2 stems of celery
  • 50g raisins or sultanas
  • 1 apple – I used a Braeburn for extra crunch
  • 6 tbsp vegan mayo (shop bought or homemade)
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Pinch of black pepper
  • Mustard cress to garnish (optional)

Method:

  1. Toast the walnuts by placing them on a baking tray under the grill for a few minutes. Keep an eye on them to make sure they don’t burn, and give them a turn to try to toast all sides. Leave to cool and get on with prepping your veg.
  2. Slice the red cabbage very thinly and place into a large bowl. I use a mandolin for this which makes very quick work of it (I use this one – a worthwhile investment if you make a lot of salads).
  3. Next thinly slice the celery, I cut horizontally down the stem which gives you little half moon shapes, and then cut the apple into small dice. Add the celery and apple to the bowl along with the raisins and half the walnuts.
  4. In a small jug or bowl mix together the mayo, lemon juice, dijon mustard and salt and pepper.
  5. Pour the dressing over the salad in the bowl and give everything a really good mix. As you mix you will see the dressing begin to turn pink from the cabbage. Have a taste and adjust the seasoning if needed.
  6. Scatter the remaining walnut pieces over the top along with the cress if you have some and serve immediately.

Notes:

  • Salad will keep for up to 2 days in the fridge, though as the dressing is mixed in it is best eaten fresh.
  • Of course you can always use white cabbage too if that’s all you have.

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