- List Of Ingredients
- 150g shelled walnuts
- 4 celery sticks
- Bunch of watercress
- A couple of handfuls of Frisée
- 2 tbsp flat-leaf parsley leaves
- 2 tbsp raisins
- 100g seedless white grapes
- 1 romaine lettuce
- 2 red apples
- 200g strong, salty blue cheese (such as Roquefort)
- For the dressing:
- 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 2 tbsp plain yoghurt
- 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 100ml olive oil
- Salt and black pepper
We’re just going to toast the walnuts in the oven at about 180ºC for about 5-10 minutes so that they go really nice and crispy.
Whilst those nuts are roasting in the oven we’re going to mix together a nice dressing to go with it. A little bit of mustard, about a tablespoon’s worth. And then into that, the same amount of yoghurt. This is natural, quite thick yoghurt. A little bit of white wine vinegar, about the same amount. Mix it together to form an almost mayonnaise-like texture base. And then to that, I’m going to mix in a nice little bit of good quality olive oil. Season with a good pinch of salt and a little pinch of black pepper. Whisk it together and just keep it to one side.
So the first thing that’s going to go into the salad bowl is some celery. The celery is beautiful and perfect for a salad. Really crisp, really clean flavours. You need to take a layer from the top of the celeries so that it exposes that beautiful raw flesh that comes from it. I’m slicing it quite thinly so that when you eat it there’s not too much in your mouth. You want it quite long so that that texture is there, so that it’s nice and crunchy and crisp. Drop it into the bowl. Now take the leaves from the middle of the celery, do not throw this away, this tastes lush. Then on top of that – some watercress, it goes really well with this waldorf salad. It’s peppery, it’s strong, it gives a real powerful kick to it. You don’t want too much stalk, you just want lovely flavoursome leaves. Now this is frisée, or curly endive, it’s got a wonderful bitter flavour, it gives height and texture to a dish so it’s a fantastic salad leaf. The last leaf to go in is flat-leaf parsley. A robust, very, very tasty herb.
So that’s all the leaf and vegetable garnish that’s in there. Now we just need something to counterbalance it. Firstly, some raisins. These are absolutely fantastic to counterbalance the crunch of the nuts and the rich and smooth, creamy texture of the cheese. The next thing we’re going to put in are raisins in their raw form, which are grapes. We’re just going to slice these in half. They’re clean flavour, beautiful sweetness, and again a wonderful texture.
The thing that holds it all together is another lettuce leaf, and that’s a romaine lettuce. We trim the bottom and then cut it in half. Then pop half the lettuce in the middle of the plate, and we’re just going to dress up all around the outside of it. Now the apple – slice it into batons, nice and crunchy and crisp. Now we’re going to start just building up the salad, add a little bit of our dressing onto the salad leaves, then give it a rough mix around. We’re just going to dress it up on the plate, a little bit of the frisée, the watercress, the raisins, the grapes, the toasted walnuts, some of the batons of the apple. It’s not often a term I would use for my cooking, but it makes it look very posh.
And then this is an amazing blue cheese, this is called Roquefort and it has such a powerful flavour to it. Just go sparse with it – little nuggets of flavour. And lastly, we give another little drizzle of the dressing. And you can see as that dressing drips down in among all those leaves, it takes on all that lovely juice and all that flavour.
And that my friends, is a very simple, very easy – but looks lush – waldorf salad. And you can find the full recipe for this in my book Tom’s Table.