Waldorf Salad

by Linda Capeloto Sendowski on January 31, 2011

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This is not the Waldorf salad of your childhood with canned fruit cocktail and marshmallows, OMG, This is a fresh crunchy, kill the winter doldrums, salad from a recipe that appeared in I believe Bon Appetite magazine many years ago.  It has been in my recipe file for a long time, so I am not sure exactly which magazine or what year, but it is tasty, healthy, and fun. It makes a great buffet dish for your Super Bowl Sunday; or a beautiful plated first course for a dinner party. The recipe is easily increased or decreased. I have updated the look of the salad with the addition of pomegranate arils for garnish.  The salad leftovers will keep for one night for some lucky soul browsing in the refrigerator the next day.

8 to 10 servings


1 cup mayonnaise

2 teaspoons grated lemon peel

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice


5 large Granny Smith apples, cored, cut into ½ inch square pieces

1½ cups chopped celery

1½ cup chopped radishes

¾ cup dried cranberries

1/2 cup very finely minced red onion

3 cups watercress leaves, washed and dried

1½ cups pecans, toasted, chopped or whole halves

1/2 cup fresh pomegranite arils

2 heads of radicchio, leaves separated

Mix mayonnaise, lemon peel, and fresh lemon juice in medium bowl to blend.  Season the dressing to taste with salt and pepper.  Refrigerate the dressing for at least 15 minutes or until you are ready to use it.  Toss the apples, celery, radishes, cranberries and red onion in large bowl.  Add lemon mayonnaise and toss to coat.  Fold the watercress and toasted pecans into the salad.

For a buffet, arrange the radicchio leaves on a platter with a little scoop of salad in each leaf.  For individual plating of the salad, arrange 1 to 2 radicchio leaves on each plate to create a receptacle for the salad, then spoon the salad into the center of radicchio leaves.  Sprinkle the pomegranate arils over the top and serve. Many times if the radicchio leaves are large enough I use only one leaf per plate.

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Greek Girl from Queens February 1, 2011 at 9:57 AM

In the past, I could either take a Waldorf salad, or, most of the time, leave it. It never truly satisfied whatever it was I thought or hoped I’d find in what so many people raved about. Well, after reading your blog post just now, I’ve a feeling that my opinion is about to change, big time. Although I’m a big fan of walnuts (which is the only type of nuts I’ve ever come across in Waldorf salad recipes or in restaurants or buffet tables at weddings and the like), I kinda dig the idea of exchanging the walnuts for pecans (and oh, do I adore pecans!).

As always, both your words and your photos are inspiring and as soon as the weather gets a bit more springtime-ish, I’m going to try this out. Thanks for sharing!

megi February 2, 2011 at 5:15 AM

I LOVE Waldorf salad, toasted nuts, cruncy celery, sweet fruits and a flavorful dressing! This looks amazing Linda, thank you for sharing your recipe. 🙂

Jay February 3, 2011 at 10:32 AM

Its interesting to see how Waldorf salad changes so much from the original through the years. In my childhood days it was apples, celery, toasted walnuts, shredded cabbage & mayonaise with a bit of sugar, salt & pepper. I still make it this way 60 odd years later but quite often use toasted pecans instead of walnuts.

Fruit and marshmallow salads were never referred to as waldorf salad when my children were small, at least not in our area. Fruit and marshmallow salads were either Ambrosia salad or 5 cup salad. A favourite of the times.

Ingredients were, 1 cup canned pineapple, 1 cup canned mandarin oranges, (the odd time 1 cup canned fruit cocktail but not as popular as mandarins) 1 cup marshmallows, 1 cup coconut, 1 cup sour cream. Mix all ingredients, let sit to blend flavours, eat with gusto!

The original Waldorf salad was a creation of Oscar Tschirky of the Waldorf Hotel.
Tschirky’s Waldorf salad is in his cookbook published 1896, titled, “The Cookbook By The Waldorf”.

Tschirky’s Waldorf salad in the book is very simple, only apples, celery & mayonaise.

Heres the preface from Oscar Tschirky’s cookbook with his Waldorf salad recipe following.

In placing this work before my friends at The Waldorf and the public in general, it is with the feeling that I am giving them a book illustrative of the best methods of preparing food at the present day.

The collection of recipes embodies many which have been rendered easy of comprehension and arranged in such a manner as to meet the wants of all – the caterer to large dinners or receptions, as well as the more modest entertainment furnished at the hearthside. There has been more particular attention devoted to the requirements of the latter than to those of the former, as, in the writer’s opinion, the giver of a small reception has been, it might be said, rather neglected in such works as have come before the notice of the undersigned, relative to cookery.

The title selected for the book is: The Cook Book by “Oscar” of the Waldorf, and it is with great honor dedicated to the patrons of The Waldorf, with the hope that they will receive it as a token of my high esteem and sincere appreciation of their kindness as shown to me at all times.

In conclusion, let me state that I enter the arena as an author with the hope that my experience may prove entertaining to my friends, as well as enable them to prepare a Waldorf Dinner at their own homes.

With the hope that my friends and the public will appreciate the work here presented to them, I am

Very respectfully,


Maitre d’Hotel. The Waldorf.

Waldorf Salad

Peel two raw apples and cut them into small pieces, say about half an inch square, also cut some celery the same way, and mix it with the apple. Be very careful not to let any seeds of the apples be mixed with it. The salad must be dressed with a good mayonnaise.

Linda Capeloto Sendowski
Twitter: theborekadiary
February 3, 2011 at 7:52 PM

Hi Jay thanks for the information, you are right I have Waldorf and Ambrosia mixed up in my mind. I guess I was concentrating on the mayonnaise aspect too much. I try to place my thoughts about food in this blog without too much forethought thus turning it into a formal thing. I agree with Oscar Tschirky’s sentiment that you have so aptly quoted. I am exposing my passions for food and writing to all you blog readers for your perusal and enjoyment. best regards Linda

Jay February 4, 2011 at 8:42 AM

And I for one am so grateful you are exposing your passion for food and writing to us readers! Thank you!

Norma February 4, 2011 at 6:59 PM

Hi Linda,

I agree with Jay. Your readers are very grateful for your blog. I have enjoyed reading and making your recipes. Keep the posts coming. We look forward to them. I have baked the chocolate babka 4 times so far this very cold and snowy winter in NY.


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