For the workshop class on Holidays, I had planned to make the cranberry relish from Eating Without Heating: Favorite Recipes from Teens Who Love Raw Food by Sergei and Victoria Boutenko. However, finding fresh cranberries in the spring is a bit of a challenge, so I settled on a tasty Waldorf salad instead.
I discovered this gem of a cookbook at the Glastonbury Library: The Raw Transformation: Energizing Your Life with Living Foods. Nestled inside this book you will find a number of delicious recipes, including the following:
- 4 apples, chopped into small pieces
- 4 stalks celery, minced
- 2 green onions, minced
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- 1/4 cup raisins, soaked 1 hour
- 1/2 cups pine nuts, soak 6 hrs
- 1/4 cup water
- 2-3 Tbs olive oil
- 1-2 Tbs lemon juice
- dash garlic powder
- dash onion powder
- sea salt to taste
- Mix salad ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
- To make mayonnaise, blend all ingredients until smooth. If too thick, add a little water.
- Carefully fold into salad mixture. Serves 4.
Short on celery, I added some diced fennel as well. And because I couldn’t let go of the cranberry thing, I added raisins and dried cranberries. Since the chives in my yard are thick and luscious, I used those instead of green onions. I like apple skins so I left them on, tho both Oscar and the author recommend peeling the apples. In the fall, when organic grapes are more readily available I would definitely try replacing the dried fruit with them.
According to everything I read online (so we all know this means it must be true!) about the history of this dish, it started pleasing crowds more than one hundred years ago when it was developed by the maitre d’hotel of the Waldorf Hotel, Oscar Tschirky. His original recipe, published in The Cook Book by Oscar of the Waldorf, 1896, is as follows:
Peel two raw apples and cut them into small pieces, say about half and 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.
The link to the cookbook allows you to thumb through the original book, a history lesson in itself. Ever wonder how to make Beef Tea or Beef Jelly? Just turn to the soups section to find out. The Preface and information at the beginning of the book are worth a look, and include a listing of seasons for many common foods. I found some of the granites ( italian ices) and the apple (and other flavors) water ices intriguing. And I’m struck by the unusual ingredients and flavors throughout the book — Brown Bread Ice Cream anyone?
Anyway, enjoy this raw vegan version of the classic Waldorf salad. It goes really well with the ever-scrumptious stuffing or can be tasty picnic fare for the summer.