I admit that it has been hard to get back into the kitchen after my recent holiday in Japan. No doubt you got sick of being inundated by my Facebook stream, saturated with all things Japanese.
#sorrynotsorry! We truly had a wonderful time and genuinely love the culture – I wonder if I was Japanese in another life? I did find a lot of the food a bit too sweet after a while, and my palate certainly did adjust; as I can attest, it certainly had a shock when we came home!
Something that I didn’t see much of in the land of the rising sun was celery – and I have been craving it since coming back. And another shock to my system is our oppressive Queensland humidity which has hit with full force – we left a mild Fukuoka winter. So we will be living on celery salad until well into the new year!!
Waldorf salad was first created in the late 1800’s at the Waldorf Hotel in New York City, and is made of fresh apples, celery, grapes and walnuts. It is dressed in mayonnaise and usually served on a bed of lettuce. The original recipe did not contain nuts but they had been added by the time the recipe appeared in The Rector Cook Book in 1928. Other ingredients, such as chicken, turkey, dates or raisins are sometimes added.
I’m not so keen on the addition of grapes and raisins but I do like to add some roasted chicken and a little curry powder to make this into a more substantial summer meal. Given my recent Japanese influence I have changed the curry powder to wasabi for a refreshing change. My measurements are loose – use more of what you like and less of what you don’t. I prefer less apple so that it’s not so sweet but the kids love it.
4 large ribs fresh celery, cut into 1 cm dice
1 apple, cut into 1 cm dice
1 small zucchini, cut into 1 cm dice
1 avocado*, cut into 1 cm dice
handful of finely chopped parsley
2 – 3 tabs mayonnaise**
3 tabs vinaigrette, or enough to bind.
½ – 1 teas wasabi powder (or 1 teas curry powder)
a handful of walnuts, chopped
2 cooked chicken breasts, chopped (optional)
Mix all of the ingredients in a large bowl and serve on a bed of baby spinach.
*use a firmer avocado so that it doesn’t squash into oblivion when you mix the salad.
**Or you could use this salad dressing instead of the mayonnaise & vinaigrette