In this week’s post, local Nelson chef and guest Blogger, Grant Dicker has a recipe for the perfect autumn salad. Check out his recipe for Smoked Chicken Waldorf. Take it away, Grant…
Autumn has arrived with a thud. The leaves have turned golden and fallen in what seems like just a weekend. I woke to a small frost the other day, but as I write, I am bathed in sunshine.
I guess that’s why we live in Nelson; cold clear evenings, frosty mornings and warm days. This climate is the reason we can grow so much in the region, and one of the things we have been growing well for years is apples.
We are in apple season now. I picked a lot from our tree last week that are deliciously crisp and tart to taste. Perfect for making a substantial autumn salad for lunch.
The famous Waldorf Astoria hotel is the home of this salad, and it has been popular since the 1890s.
The original recipe was simply red-skinned apples, celery and mayonnaise. Later on, walnuts were added, and eventually, other ingredients were added too, including bacon, grapes and even chicken. Yoghurt is a common substitution for mayonnaise for those looking to shave a few calories.
My recipe is a more traditional one, with the addition of smoked chicken. The smoked chicken adds a level of smokey autumn flavour, while the nuts add some earthiness. Traditionally the salad used red-skinned apples as they are more floral and sweet as a rule, but if you decide to add grapes, you may want a more tart apple, like a Granny Smith, to balance out the sweetness.
Autumn Salad – Smoked Chicken Waldorf
- 6 tbsp mayonnaise or yoghurt
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- Seasoning to taste
- Two apples diced and pips removed (I like the acid in Braeburns)
- 1 cup sliced celery
- 1 cup toasted walnuts
- 180 gm smoked chicken, shredded
- 1 cos lettuce
- One tsp chopped parsley
In a bowl mix the lemon juice with the mayonnaise or yoghurt and the parsley.
Add the diced apple, the toasted walnuts, shredded chicken and the celery. Toss the salad ingredients through the dressing and season to taste.
Finally, to serve place some cos leaves in four small bowls, place the tossed salad neatly on top and serve.
Don’t forget to head to Fresh Choice Nelson for your autumn salad ingredients.