Vegan Waldorf Salad - a lighter take
Good evening everyone!
I don’t remember the last time I’ve eaten Waldorf salad. It probably was at some kind of festivity with a buffet, ‘cause this seem to be the typical occasion where Waldorf Salad is being served. I also cannot remember to have really liked it. Maybe, because it normally comes drowned in a mayonnaise-cream-sauce, which is quite heavy on the stomach. Moreover, this kind of dressing often overpowers the subtle aroma of the celeriac.
Besides these constraints, Waldorf Salad is just perfect for this season. Celeriac, crisp and slightly sour apples as well as walnuts are readily available. Furthermore, I always look for new ways to incorporate seasonal vegetables into my salads or other raw dishes. Celeriac is a vegetable that I definitely do not use often enough. Until recently, I even had kind of an aversion against it, which probably rooted in the traumatic experience of having eaten mayonnaise-drowned Waldorf Salad. No, just kiddin. I really don’t know. Anyway, besides being healthy and quite versatile, celeriac does also taste pretty good *yay*
So, when I was looking for a way to incorporate the celeriac root, which had been sitting in our fridge for some days already, into a dish, I stumbled upon a recipe for Waldorf Salad in one of my cookbooks. The recipe in the book is not vegan, but as it only called for cream and mayonnaise as typical non-vegan ingredients, it did not seem difficult to veganize it. So here is how we prepared the salad: (adapted from “Salate” by Zabert&Sandmann)
Ingredients: (serves 4)
2 slightly sour apples (e.g. boskoop)
250g celeriac root
Juice of 1 lemon
½ cup cashews, soaked in some water for at least ½ hour (the longer the better)
a vegan cream substitute (we used rice cream)
3 Tablespoons vegan mayonnaise or yoghurt or a mix
Sea salt, freshly ground pepper
A little sweetener of your choice (e.g. maple syrup, agave syrup, stevia, …)
About 75-100g walnuts (depending on how many nuts you’d like in your salad)
About 150g mâche lettuce (D: Feldsalat, NL: Veldsla) or as much as you like
some fresh parsley, if you like (my man doesn't like it on or in his food, but I found it to be a good match with the other ingredients)
(1) Quarter the apples and remove the core. Peel the celeriac. Grate the apple and celeriac (roughly or finely, depending on your preference). Add to a bowl and drizzle with lemon juice.
(2) Drain the cashews and put them into a high narrow pot. Add just enough fresh water to cover the nuts and use a handheld blender to process them into a cream. In total you’ll need about 100ml of cream substitute. So depending on how much cream your cashews yield you may wanna add some rice cream (or soy creamer). Then mix the mayonnaise into the cream. (For an even lighter version you could probably substitute the mayo for vegan yoghurt) Use a fork and mix until you have an even creamy sauce. Add salt, pepper and maybe some sweetener to taste.
(3) Lightly toast the walnuts without oil in a skillet. Preserve some halves for garnish and chop the remaining ones. Now pour dressing over the celeriac-apple mixture, add the walnuts and mix everything.
(4) Wash and pick the lettuce. Drain it and place it on 4 plates.
(5) Arrange the Waldorf Salad on the lettuce. Garnish with the preserved walnuts and fresh parsley. Some (organic!) orange peel would also look nice as a garnish.
some bonus pictures of my afternoon coffee snack - vegan brownies with chocolate mousse topping :-)
As I was just writing about a lighter take on waldorf salad! But hey, vegans need some indulgence, too! And as the salad was light, some chocolately dessert should be okay! ;-) Moreover, some food porn cannot hurt, right?