Modern Cranberry Waldorf Salad

by R.B. Quinn and Min Merrell

 I loved the creamy Waldorf salad loaded with mayonnaise that my grandmother made.  The ’70s were definitely the salad days for mayo in my youth. I’d only had creamy potato salad, never one with laced with vinaigrette until much later.  And I was a child prodigy when it came to making composed salads of canned pears over crisp iceberg lettuce crowned with big dollops of mayo and shredded cheddar cheese.

That was soooo 40 years ago.  The apple season has again got me hankering for Waldorf.  My 21st century Waldorf is the usual wonderful blend of celery, apples, and walnuts, but this time the raisins are replaced with dried cranberries and the salad is dressed with a sophisticated walnut oil vinaigrette.  Yes, there is a spoonful of mayo in it for body and personal reasons.  Serve it on a bed of peppery watercress.  Keep this modern Waldorf in mind for the upcoming holidays.  It’s perfect for taking to a potluck, Thanksgiving dinner, or a fall side for pork or any kind of poultry.

If you’ve never tried it, you’ll love the earthy, big flavor of toasted walnut oil.  It’s just so French.  It is expensive but lasts a long time.  Get a can and keep it in the refrigerator. You may think it is hard to find, but if we can get it in the regular supermarket in Nashville, you can probably find it in your area, too.  Here’s the walnut oil brand we use.



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