Thursday, November 18, 2010

Recipe for Green Apple, Celery, and Walnut Salad with Lemon-Mustard Vinaigrette

We're still counting down to Thanksgiving, and here's another recommendation for our list of diet-friendly Thanksgiving Recipes for anyone who's trying to maintain some semblance of control on the big over-eating day. This recipe is kind of a kicked-up version of the traditional Waldorf Salad you often see on Thanksgiving menus, and after I was completely through making it, taking photos, and eating a big bowl of it for lunch, I had the thought that it would have been nice to toss in a few dried cranberries if you had some. Actually, I didn't have any, so maybe I'm glad I didn't think of it sooner, but I do recommend that variation if you're making this for Thanksgiving.

I think the interesting way that celery leaves are used almost as herbs in this salad makes it eligible to be my entry for the Five-Year Anniversary of Weekend Herb Blogging, a food blogging event that I started by accident in 2005. Since September 2008, Weekend Herb Blogging has been under the management of Haalo from Cook (almost) Anything At Least Once, who has done a wonderful job of keeping the event going. Visit Haalo's blog for more information about the Five-Year Celebration if you're a blogger who'd like to participate.

Whisk together fresh lemon juice, Dijon mustard, Agave Nectar (or honey) and olive oil to make the dressing.

Trim celery leaves from stalks and chop to make 1/2 cup chopped celery leaves. Slice stalks into very thin diagonal slices.

Working with one apple at a time, cut apple into fourths, peel and cut away seeds, cut the fourths in half crosswise and slice into thin wedges. Toss cut apples with a few tablespoons of the dressing mixture so they won't turn brown.

Combine sliced celery, chopped celery leaves, and apple/dressing mixture and stir to mix. Add enough more dressing so salad is well moistened, but not overly wet. (You may not need all the dressing.) Season salad with salt to taste.

Toast walnuts in a dry pan over high heat for about 2 minutes, or until you smell a toasty smell (it will smell a little like popcorn.) Coarsely chop the toasted walnuts.

Stir walnuts into salad and serve. I shared this with my neighbor and the contractor who's building my shed and ate the rest, so I don't know how well it will keep, but I'm guessing it's best freshly made.

Green Apple, Celery, and Walnut Salad with Lemon-Mustard Vinaigrette
(Makes 4-6 servings; adapted slightly from Green Apple and Celery Salad with Walnuts and Mustard Vinaigrette in Bon Appetit, November 2005.

2 T fresh-squeezed lemon juice
2 T Dijon mustard
1 T + 1 tsp. Agave Nectar or honey (Use Agave Nectar for South Beach Diet)
6 T extra-virgin olive oil
5-6 large stalks celery with leaves
2 large Granny Smith apples
salt to taste
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted then chopped
1/2 cup dried cranberries (optional, but nice if you're serving this for Thanksgiving)

Whisk together the fresh lemon juice, Dijon Mustard, Agave Nectar, and olive oil and set dressing aside.

Wash celery stalks and dry with paper towels, making sure both stalks and leaves are very dry. Cut leaves away from stalks and chop to make 1/2 cup chopped celery leaves. Slice stalks on the diagonal into very thin slices, enough to make 2-3 cups sliced celery.

Working with one apple at a time, cut apple into fourths, peel and cut away seeds, cut each fourth into half crosswise, then cut each piece into thin wedges. Toss cut apples with a small amount of dressing as soon as they are cut so apples won't turn brown.

Combine sliced celery, chopped celery leaves, and apple/dressing mixture and stir to combine. Add enough more dressing so celery and apples are well moistened, but not overly wet. (You may not need all the dressing.) Season salad with salt to taste.

Toast walnuts in a dry pan over high heat for about 2 minutes, or until they start to smell toasty. (The toasted walnuts will smell a bit like popcorn.) Coarsely chop walnuts, then mix walnuts and dried cranberries (if using) into salad and serve.


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South Beach Suggestions:
Agave Nectar is a natural low-glycemic sweetener, and using it would make this salad approved for phase 2 or 3 of the South Beach Diet. The salad is more South Beach friendly without the dried cranberries, but if you're making it for Thanksgiving I'd certainly use them.

More Thanksgiving-Worthy Salads with Fruit:
(Recipes from other blogs may not always be South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Thanksgiving Spinach Salad with Dried Cranberries, Almonds, and Goat Cheese from Kalyn's Kitchen
Winter Fruit Salad with Persimmons, Pears, Grapes, and Agave-Pomegranate Vinaigrette from Kalyn's Kitchen
Double Berry Thanksgiving Jello Salad from Kalyn's Kitchen
Arugula and Apple Salad from 80 Breakfasts
Orchard Apple Salad from More Than Burnt Toast
Healthy Waldorf Salad from Kitchen Parade
Chopped Shrimp Waldorf Salad from Use Real butter
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)counter customizable free hit

15 comments:

  1. I like your new twist on Waldorf Salad, a lot healthier without the mayo. The mustard sounds like it adds a nice tangy twist. Happy Thanksgiving!

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  2. Lovely ..i am making this salad today for lunch ...with kashmir apples cuz that is what i have right now.

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  3. I have a pile of apples from my csa. I like your Waldorf salad. It's going on the list for our Thanksgiving brunch. Lovely!

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  4. This is a very nice salad. I usually mix Dijon mustard with vinegar: I have never tried using lemon juice.

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  5. Haha I would LOVE to maintain control on the big day! This salad sounds quite tasty! I'm not really a big fan of dressing anyway, so I'd probably enjoy this even MORE.

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  6. This sounds really good! I'm intrigued by the dressing!

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  7. I'm so glad people are liking it. The slightly-sweet dressing with the mustard and lemon is something I'm thinking would be good on lots of things. I'm really into apples lately, and I loved this one!

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  8. Kalyn, You've done it again. Another perfect winter salad. That dressing sounds fantastic.

    I am a big fan of lemon-dijon-honey-olive oil dressings. One of my tricks for when I'm really in a hurry or have extra to use up, I'll use honey mustard to whip up a quick salad dressing. Two ingredients in one step.
    ---
    I love all of your salad dressing recipes. Since I started making my own, for the salad at hand or for several days worth, I find the taste of bottled dressings to off, artificial. My husband recently noted the same thing, saying how much better he liked home made dressings too.

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  9. CJ, I know what you mean about the dressings, although I do have a couple of dressings I buy once in a while. Glad you like the salad!

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  10. I love your take on the Waldorf, a great combination of complementary ingredients.

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  11. Claudia, thanks. Glad you liked it.

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  12. That's really good salad and very easy to make. I liked your work Kalyn. Thanks for sharing.

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  13. What a happy accident! Sounds delicious. Not to mention healthy too.

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  14. Yum! I thought that it was a little bit too oily for my taste, so I added some extra mustard (spicy dijon), lemon juice and salt. I also added a small dash of cumin, a couple dashes of ginger powder and a quarter teaspoon of dried lemon zest. I also added raisins and put it on a bed of mixed greens. It was great! Thanks!

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