The Waldorf salad was invented in 1896 by Oscar Tschirky, a maitre d'hotel at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City. He is also credited with inventing eggs Benedict, veal Oscar, and popularizing thousand island dressing.
Like other American recipes such as Buffalo wings and Cobb salad, it was probably born out of hunting through mostly empty cupboards and refrigerators. Well, at least I decided to make it after looking around my kitchen and seeing what I could use up. :P
Celery with fruit? Fruit with mayonnaise? I know it sounds like a weird combination but it totally works in all its crunchy, sweet, tart, creamy flavors.
Waldorf salad makes a quick, light snack, or serve it on a bed of lettuce if you want something more substantial. I use less mayonnaise than most recipes to make it slightly healthier and so the taste of the fruit and vegetables doesn't get overpowered. Substitute with plain yogurt if you don't like the taste of mayonnaise. Just mix thoroughly and everything should be covered with a light coating of either mayonnaise or yogurt. Also, because I don't like the gumminess of raisins when I'm enjoying a crunchy salad, I've substituted with grapes. I also prefer fuji or red delicious apples because of their sweetness and crunch. Use granny smith apples if you like tartness. As always, portions are approximate so adjust according to your preference.
1 large apple, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 bunch of red grapes, about 1 cup
1 small lemon
2 tbsp mayonnaise, or plain yogurt
1/2 cup walnuts
Dice apples first. Squeeze lemon and make sure the juices coat the apples thoroughly to prevent browning.
Add diced celery, grapes, and mayonnaise to apples. Mix thoroughly and chill in fridge for about half an hour. (Refrigerating isn't necessary, but I think it restores a bit of crispness to the salad.)
Before serving, add walnuts and mix salad again.
Makes about 3 cups.