My grandmother (Granny) loved Waldorf salad. I just found this out recently from my mother. The funny thing about my relationship with Granny is I still find out things about my grandmother though she passed a few years back. Yes, my grandmother is the Tupac of my family. (It’s true on so many levels.) I met her at the age of 13. I’ve written before about the stressed relationship with my extended family because… it’s family. We do dumb sh*t.
Anyway on Granny’s most recent birthday, which happens to fall on St. Patty’s day, my mother found herself making a Waldorf salad. When I asked what she was eating she told me the story of how Granny loved this particular salad and how she, out of nowhere, had a hankering for it.
I had heard of the salad of course, but never had a reason to be interested in it. I mean it’s apples, celery and mayonnaise. That just sounds well…bourgeois. Granny did have a fur coat, so I’m guessing my version of bourgeois is her norm. I figured I might as well give it a shot and veganize it, because well, it’s in the blood.
After I got past my preconceptions, I realized this super fresh tasting salad is a texture party in your mouth! The sweet apples, soft raisins, super crunchy burst of celery, and earthy walnuts all create unique contrasts. To kick it up a notch, I added a twist with Rainier cherries. Before I knew it, I had finished the whole bowl. And I had my pinky extended the whole time. Granny would be proud.
Granny’s Waldorf Salad
Serves 2| Prep time 5 minutes|
½ cup chopped, slightly toasted walnuts
½ cup celery, thinly sliced
¼ cup golden California raisins
¼ cup Rainer cherries, seeded sliced
1 sweet apple, cored and chopped
3 Tbsp vegan mayonnaise
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise and the lemon juice. Add ½ teaspoon of salt, ¼ teaspoon of fresh ground white pepper. Mix in the apple, celery, cherries, raisins and walnuts. Serve on a bed of fresh lettuce garnish with lemon zest.