I love, love, love Sunset Magazine. This recipe for a lighter take on Waldorf salad ran in the October ,2009, issue. I come from a long line of mayonnaise haters and I don’t remember seeing a mayo-free version of Waldorf salad before.
This is a great salad to bring to a picnic, potluck. or to serve as a light and fresh lunch side with a sandwich. As a nice bonus, it is vegan/vegetarian and gluten-free.
Don’t be tempted to skip the step of toasting the walnuts, but be careful not to burn them or they’ll become acrid.
Sunset Magazine’s Western Waldorf (serves 6)
1/4 c unfiltered apple juice
1 tsp roasted walnut or almond oil, or extra-virgin olive oil
1/8 tsp each kosher salt, cinnamon, and fresh ground black pepper
2 Pink Lady apples (or another sweet-tart variety such as Jonathan or Pinata)
1/2 c toasted coarsely chopped walnuts
2 large tangerines, peeled and sections cut in half
1 c seedless red or green grapes, halved
In a small bowl, whisk apple juice, oil, salt, cinnamon, and pepper until blended.
Core apples, cut into thin wedges, and cut wedges in half crosswise. In a salad bowl, combine remaining ingredients. Pour dressing over fruit and nuts and mix gently to coat.
Juliet’s notes: Though Sunset calls for unfiltered apple juice, I always just use regular (in fact last time I made this, I forget we were out of apple juice and ended up using a juice box!)
I have never tried it with walnut or almond oil so can’t vouch for how that would taste. I always just use olive oil. I’d guess that the flavor of walnut or almond oil could be quite intense so use a cautious hand with it.
TO TOAST NUTS: I lost (!!?? how???) my favorite nut-toasting pan. In fact, the only thing I ever used this pan for was to toast nuts. It was an ancient (i.e. well seasoned) pan inherited from my parents when I got my first apartment. The wooden handle was falling apart and I had to be really careful to not burn myself, but it was worth it because of that fantastic seasoning of the cooking surface.
So now I toast nuts using the baking sheet method: line a baking sheet with parchment. Place nuts in a single layer and bake at 400, watching CAREFULLY! Do not let them burn and frequently shake or stir the pan with a wooden spoon to make sure they cook evenly.
To toast in a pan: same thing, but over the burner. What I like about a pan is more immediate control and less chance of forgetting that something’s in the oven until the telltale smell that something is burning. Oops.