Is there a salad both more famous (and more mangled) than the Waldorf Salad?  I doubt it.  And because, pretty much since it’s inception, people have been mucking around with it, I thought I would put my stamp on it.  As I have a predilection for little food, I shrank my Waldorf Salad into individual serving sizes.

Waldorf Salad1Waldorf Salad – History

The Waldorf Salad was first made at New York’s Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in 1896 and was, a huge success.  The original recipe only contained apples, celery and mayonnaise  The grapes and walnuts came later but are now considered integral ingredients.

The Waldorf precedes the other classic “American” salad, the Caesar, by 28 years. 

The Waldorf Salad was also immortalised in an episode of Fawlty Towers.  I wonder if this is the only salad to ever have a sit com episode named after it.  If you have not seen this you must.  It is hilarious.  But here’s a taste!

So, celery, apples, walnuts grapes…in a mayonnaise sauce.  Which is pretty much what mine consisted of. 

Waldorf Salad2So how did they manage to get it so wrong in the ’60’s? 

Well, the top three reasons of what went wrong in the 60’s in general are:

  1. Charlie Manson
  2. Massive amounts of drug taking
  3. Gelatine

Now,Manson may be all kinds of crazy but I don’t think we can blame him for this:

Retro Waldorf via Bon AppetitOr this (even though this is kind of pretty)

california-waldorf-salad-gelatin-mold via bon appetitOr, Good Lord, even this:

Retro Waldorf SaladNope, the blame for that lies squarely with 3).  Possibly with a large dose of 2) thrown in

After those horrors i totally understand why the poor old Waldorf Salad is not nearly as popular today as the Caesar salad. The graphs below show internet interest in the words as search terms. 


Kind of makes me wonder why I am bothering to post on Waldorf when it’s so unpopular.  Next week – Caesar Salad! And hit city!

The thing is, Caesar salad  is often awful and the Waldorf salad tasted good.  It’s crunchy and crisp and sweet and nutty.  Nothing wrong there.  The buttermilk dressing I used adds a little tang without being too cloying.  It’s delicious.  And easy to make.  And healthy.  And it’s fun to wrap up the main ingredients in a lettuce leaf like a salady sang choy bau.

What more do you need?

Go and make one now.  You already know how….it’s celery, apples, walnuts grapes…in a mayonnaise sauce.

Pop it all into a lettuce leaf, wrap it up and enjoy!

Waldorf Salad5

Tiny Waldorf Salads
My take on the classic Waldorf Salad
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Salad Ingredients
  1. 2 red apples cored and thinly sliced
  2. 1/2 lemon, juiced
  3. 16 small butter lettuce or cos leaves
  4. 2 celery stalks, thinly sliced on the diagonal
  5. 45 g(¼ cup) seedless grapes, halved
  6. 45 g(¼ cup) walnuts, toasted and chopped
Dressing Ingredients
  1. 3/4 cup buttermilk
  2. 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  3. 1/2 lemon, juiced
  4. Salt and pepper
For The Salad
  1. Sprinkle the apple with lemon juice to stop it from browning.
  2. Place the lettuce leaves on a serving platter and top with the apples, celery, grapes and walnuts.
For The Dressing
  1. Mix the buttermilk, mayonnaise and lemon juice.
  2. Season to taste.
To Serve
  1. Roll up the lettuce leaves to enclose the filling.
  2. Drizzle with, or dip into the dressing.
  3. Enjoy!
Retro Food For Modern Times http://www.retrofoodformoderntimes.com/
 Have a wonderful week!

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