Saturday, January 2, 2010

Jamie's Waldorf Salad

Hello everyone and happy new year. I think everyone who lives in my street went to see the fireworks this year, as it was very quiet around here. I was completely engrossed in Truman Capote's In Cold Blood so the peace and quiet made me very happy.

Now I have to say that I am not a huge fan of Jamie Oliver himself, but over the years I have tried many of his recipes in delicious magazine and always thought they were very good. When I saw his latest book, Jamie's America, I had to get it. It reminds me very much of a book in a Time Life series on food in different countries that Mum had when we were children. I was entranced with the book on America as I found the cultural context, and the range of cooking styles and influences around that big country, fascinating. So I had exactly the same feeling when I came across Jamie's book.

Funnily enough, at the community dinners in which I participate, my team mate Margaret made a great waldorf salad one night. She kindly sent me an email with the details - she had found this recipe in a magazine at her hairdresser and copied it. (Well, the list of ingredients - someone had ripped out the instructions). So I had already tried the salad and had Margaret's list of ingredients in hand ready to make it myself when I discovered that the recipe came from Jamie's America. It's great, a really good summertime meal. (The comments in brackets in the ingredients list are mine).

Have a wonderful new year! Love from Jane xxx

Jamie's Waldorf Salad

Serves four

What you need:
  • 4 large handfuls of interesting green salad leaves, washed and spun dry (I have only recently started using a lettuce spinner, gosh they are good!)
  • 2 large handfuls of seedless green or red grapes (or you could have half and half), sliced in half
  • 3 medium sticks of celery, trimmed
  • 2 large handfuls of walnuts (approximately 100g), roughly chopped
  • A handful of fresh flat leaf parsley
  • 1 red apple
  • 150g mild blue cheese, such as dolcelatte (there's a nice mild King Island blue that comes in a roll which you can buy at Woollies which would work well)


  • 1 heaped teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons white or red wine vinegar
  • Good quality extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 heaped tablespoon natural yoghurt
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

What you do

  1. In a large bowl toss together the leaves and the grapes.
  2. Finely slice the celery sticks and add to the salad.
  3. In a dry pan over a medium heat toast the walnuts. Keep an eye on them - they will only take a couple of minutes.
  4. Discard the tougher ends of the parsley stalks and finely chop the rest of the stalks, then put to the side for a minute.
  5. Chop the parsley leaves finely and add to the salad.
  6. To make the dressing, combine the mustard and vinegar and add the reserved chopped parsley stalks.
  7. Pour in three times as much olive oil as the dressing you have made so far (or less olive oil, depending on your preference) and mix together.
  8. Add the yoghurt and a good pinch of salt and pepper to the dressing and mix again.
  9. Drizzle a little of the dressing over the salad so far.
  10. Finely slice the apple into matchsticks and scatter over the salad.
  11. Add the toasted walnuts and dressing and toss everything together.
  12. Transfer the salad to a large serving platter, piling the grapes and walnuts over the leaves. Use a knife to break off little pieces of the cheese, scattering over the salad and serve.