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
- Whisk together the vinegar, yogurt, mustard, ½ teaspoon salt, pepper and olive oil in a small bowl.
- 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.
- 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.
Time: 30 minutes
Leftover potential: Great.