Meet my new favorite salad.
I had one of those days a few weeks ago where my kitchen was stocked with little more than a bit of cooked brown rice, an apple, a handful of walnuts hiding in the bottom of a jar in the freezer with some peas, and some limp vegetables in the crisper. I didn’t intend on making a waldorf salad, but that’s what evolved. It’s a new staple in my recipe repitoire.
You’ll typically find walnuts, apples, and celery in waldorf salads, but those are about the only common denominators. Over the years, chefs across the country have strayed from tradition and taken liberties with the dish to include grilled chicken, fish, peas, shallots, and various fresh herbs. With the addition of brown rice and the omition of mayo in the dressing, my version is very loosely based on the original waldorf concept.
Food history buffs, you might find Wikipedia’s waldorf salad overview interesting. I enjoy reading up on the origination of popular dishes. The waldorf salad has many fun historical nuggets in it’s lineage.
With May in full swing, seasonal recipes have been speckling my favorite blogs like spring raindrops. Here are a few that have my mouth watering:
- Cucumber Peanut Salad from Heidi at 101 Cookbooks
- Fingerling Potato Surprise from Kim at Cook It Allergy Free
- Healing Nettle Chicken Stock from Ali at The Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen
- Dandelion Pancakes from Winnie at Healthy Green Kitchen
- Rosemary Roasted Radishes from Helene at Tartelette
Brown Rice Waldorf Salad
2 1/2 cups cooked and cooled brown rice
1 medium sweet apple, such as a Gala or Fuji, peeled and chopped small
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1/4 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 stalk celery, peeled and finely chopped
For the dressing:
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon agave nectar or honey
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
Combine rice through celery in a large mixing bowl. In a smaller bowl, whisk together all ingredients for the dressing. Toss with the salad to coat, then taste and adjust seasoning if desired. Serve.
To make ahead: refrigerate the salad, covered, for up to 4 hours. Bring to room temperature before serving.