The Waldorf salad was created in 1896 by the dining room manager at New York’s Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. This light and refreshing salad became an instant success.
The original version of the Waldorf salad contained only apples, celery and mayonnaise, tossed together and placed on a bed of lettuce. As often happens, many variations evolved – some with raisins, some with chopped nuts. This one has raisins and grapes and is topped with…granola.
We adapted this recipe from Chef Ron Russell’s Waldorf salad. Ron is chef and co-owner of SunCafe Organic Restaurant. The restaurant is amazing and has twice been rated one of the best 10 restaurants in Los Angeles by Open Table (out of a total of 9,000 restaurants).
One of the key ingredients that makes Chef Ron’s Waldorf salad so special is his amazing sunflower mayo!
For this allergy-friendly mayo, start by soaking raw sunflower seeds for 4-6 hours. Drain the seeds and place in a high speed blender with water, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, garlic and salt. Process until smooth; set aside in fridge.
This makes more than you will need for this recipe. It’s hard to make a smaller batch because the ingredients just don’t catch in the blender to blend smoothly. However, the leftover mayo can be kept in the fridge for up to 3 days, or it can be frozen. Enjoy it on sandwiches and burgers!
Here are the yummy ingredients. We like to have everything prepped and ready to assemble before we cut the apples, to prevent apples from browning.
Is There a Best Way to Cut an Apple?
We don’t claim there’s a right way or a wrong way to cut apples. In fact, we use different techniques, depending on what we’re making. Here’s an easy way we’d like to share for making this incredible Waldorf salad.
Slice a small portion off the bottom of the apple so it sits flat on your cutting board. Slice one side off the apple, staying about 1/4 of an inch away from the center, so that you miss the core.
Put the cut side down and again slice one side off the apple, staying about 1/4 of an inch away from the center. Rotate the apple again and repeat this step until you’ve cut all 4 sides of the apple from the core. Do this with all of the apples.
Lay the apple slabs, cut side down on the cutting board, and cut into 1/2 to 3/4-inch slices, then cut crosswise into 1/2 to 3/4-inch cubes.
Now for assembly, whisk together 1/2 cup mayo and cinnamon in a large bowl. Add celery, grapes, raisins and apples. Toss to coat ingredients evenly.
Serve on a bed of lettuce and garnish with our toasted coconut and pumpkin seed granola, if desired.
What’s fun about this salad, you can replace and vary the ingredients to your liking. How about adding pineapple or coconut? Oh, or mini marshmallows?
If tree nut allergy is not an issue, try walnuts, pecans or pistachios.
Yield 4 Servings
Free of: gluten and top 8 allergens.
This simple apple salad is so delicious, and you can vary the ingredients to your liking.
1 1/2 cups sunflower seeds, soaked 4-6 hours, then drained
1/2 - 3/4 cup water, as needed
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup sunflower mayo (above)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup celery, sliced crosswise into 1/4-inch slices
1 cup red seedless grapes, halved
1/2 cup raisins
3 cups chopped apples, 1/2 to 3/4-inch cubes (see recipe notes)
1 cup allergy-friendly granola, optional
- For the mayo, combine sunflower seeds, water (starting with 1/2 cup), lemon juice, vinegar, garlic, and salt in a high speed blender. Process until smooth, gradually adding remaining 1/4 cup of water as needed. This makes 2 cups of mayo, more than you need for this recipe. A smaller batch is difficult to blend properly. Measure 1/2 cup and set aside for salad. Remaining mayo can be held in fridge for up to 3 days.
- For the salad, in a large bowl whisk together 1/2 cup mayo and cinnamon. Add celery, grapes, raisins, and apples. Toss gently to coat ingredients. To prevent apples from turning brown, cut right before adding to mayo.
- Serve on a bed of lettuce and garnish with granola, if desired.
- Fuji, Gala, Pink Lady, Granny Smith, or a combination of, are good apples choices for Waldorf salad.
- We adapted this recipe from Chef Ron Russell's Waldorf salad. Ron is chef and co-owner of SunCafe Organic Restaurant. This restaurant is amazing and has twice been rated one of the 10 best restaurants in Los Angeles by Open Table (out of a total of 9,000 restaurants).
Courses Soups & Salads