Thursday, January 07, 2016


Another stellar winter salad. Like the Cobb, Waldorf salad falls into the category of old-school foods I’ve only read about, and its traditional mayonnaise-based dressing ensured that I steered far away from it for the first few decades of my life. However, its core apple-walnut-cranberry combo is so classic that when I encountered this modern spin on the Waldorf at Simply Recipes, I realized it wasn’t a far cry from some of my existing favorites. I immediately envisioned it with poached chicken added in, and the original mayo dressing swapped out in favor of my beloved yogurt-Dijon vinaigrette, which basically just makes it an easier, more portable version of old reliable Crispy Chicken and Apple Salad—the only real differences (besides not-crispy chicken) being sturdy kale instead of tender greens, and the addition of celery. The result is a satisfyingly fresh, crunchy and colorful concoction, the leftovers from which are ideal to take to work for a light but satisfying weekday lunch. Even though I scoff a bit at the healthy-eating bandwagon that takes over the airwaves this time of year, this is exactly the kind of food I crave in January.

¼ cup white wine vinegar
¼ cup plain yogurt
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon coarse salt, plus extra to taste
Freshly ground pepper
¼ cup olive oil
1 bunch Tuscan kale, tough ribs removed, leaves thinly sliced
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, poached, cooled and cubed
2 large sweet red apples, cored, and chopped
1 cup sliced celery
1 cup walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
½ cup sweetened dried cranberries
  1. Whisk together the vinegar, yogurt, mustard, ½ teaspoon salt, pepper and olive oil in a small bowl.
  2. Place the sliced kale in a large bowl, drizzle with about a quarter to a third of the dressing, and mix well with your hands until each leaf is thoroughly coated. Let sit for at least 15 minutes, while you prepare the other ingredients.
  3. Add the chicken, apples, celery, walnuts, and cranberries. Add the rest of the dressing (or to taste), toss to combine, and season with salt and pepper.
Serves: 4
Time: 30 minutes
Leftover potential: Great.

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