Waldorf Astoria Salad

This recipe is a piece of American history. It was created by Oskar Tschirty, a maitre d’ at the luxurious Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York, in 1896. The salad was an immediate success. I tasted it for the first time when my cousin Ricky from Baltimore made it in 1979. I had never eaten celery root raw mixed with fruit and the combination was not common in Italian cooking. However I was very positively impressed by this blend of flavors. A few years later I came across the recipe so I was able to recreate it and let others try it. I think is very suitable to be served as an appetizer.

WALDORF ASTORIA SALAD
Preparation time: 30 minutes
(For 6 people)

1/2 celery root, peeled (about 350 gr.)
2 tart apples (granny smith or pink lady)
150 gr. Emmenthal cheese
125 gr. walnut kernels
1 lemon

For the sauce
100 gr. mayonnaise
3 tablespoons of natural yogurt
1 tablespoon of tomato ketchup
Salt and white pepper

  1. Cut the fruits and vegetables and to avoid oxidatin, use a ceramic knife or Teflon coated knife. Available from most home stores.
  2. Peel the celery root. Place it in a bowl filled with cold water with the juice of half a lemon.Add in the celery root and leave it there until you need it. It should be cut it into very thin sticks (julienne).
  3. Wash the apples. Cut the peel into thin sticks. In a bowl, add the apples, cut celery root and cover everything with the juice of half a lemon.
  4. Cut the cheese into matchsticks, add the celery and apples in the bowl with the chopped walnuts and mix thoroughly.
  5. Mix the mayonnaise with yogurt and a tablespoon of tomato ketchup, if necessary, season with salt and pepper, pour into the bowl with the celery and other ingredients, mix thoroughly.
  6. Cover with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator for at least an hour.
    Prepare the individual glass bowls. Divide the mixture into bowls and garnish with half walnuts.
    Serve as an appetizer.

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