Sunday, August 30, 2015

Waldorf Salad

I love a good Sunday brunch. Here's my twist on the classic Waldorf Salad.

R & R Waldorf Salad 

Belgian endive boat filled with celery root and apples draped in a meyer lemon-creme fraiche dressing over a harissa chayote slice. Frisee and Michigan endive is then drizzled with a honey balsamic glaze and salted chocolate rye crisp candied walnuts complete this refreshing dish. Happy Sunday everyone! 

1 cup California walnuts
2 ounces dark chocolate
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon rye cracker crisps, crushed
1 cup celery root, peeled and julienned
1 granny smith apple, cored and julienned
1 gala apple, cored and julienned
1 Chayote squash, thinly sliced (peeled if mature and not a young Chayote)
1 cup crème fraiche
Juice of one Meyer lemon
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 young chayote squash, thinly sliced (peel if it’s a mature chayote)
1 tablespoon Harissa (you can use pre-made Harissa or my awesome Harissa recipe below)
1 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ancho chile powder
8 Belgian endive leaves, similar in size
4 cups frisee or Michigan endive


Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly toast walnuts on a baking sheet for 8-10 minutes. Set aside.

Melt chocolate over a double boiler, then drizzle over toasted walnuts. Immediately sprinkle on the sea salt and crushed rye crisps.

In a medium sized bowl, add the celery root and apples. In a small bowl, whisk together the crème fraiche, lemon, vinegar, honey, kosher salt and pepper. Add half of the crème fraiche mixture to the celery and apples, fold together. Add the remaining crème fraiche mixture with the Harissa to the chayote slices in a small bowl and refrigerate both until assembly.

Bring vinegar to a boil in a small heavy saucepan; reduce to a simmer, and cook until thickened and syrupy, about 12-15 minutes. Add the honey, salt and chile powder.  

Make a cut at the bottom base of the Belgian endive leaves, in the middle, vertically. To form each boat, connect two endive leaves at each base to form the boat. Fill with some celery and apple mixture.

To assemble, add some frisee to a plate. Then add a slice of the dressed chayote and then drizzle with some balsamic glaze. Top with a celery and apple filled endive boat. Then add some salted chocolate rye candied walnuts to the plate. Enjoy!  


2 red bell peppers, halved and seeded
4 ounces dried chili peppers, stemmed and seeded (I like to use ancho and guajillo for a mild to medium heat, but if you prefer it spicy you can add chile de arbol to them as well. Chipotle peppers will add extra heat along with a smoky flavor)
2 teaspoons coriander seeds
1 ½ teaspoons caraway seeds
1 ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon celery seeds
1 ½ teaspoons salt
4 garlic cloves
¼ cup olive oil plus 2 tablespoons for sealing jar at the end
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 lemon, juiced

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Roast red peppers in oven, skin side up, for 30 minutes. Let cool then remove the outer skin.

Place dried peppers in a bowl and add hot water to rehydrate for 30 minutes. Then drain the peppers and set aside.

Add coriander, caraway, cumin and celery seeds to a small skillet and toast seeds for 3-4 minutes over medium heat. Add toasted seeds to a mortar and pestle or spice grinder and finely grind.

In a food processor, add all the peppers and remaining ingredients and blend well to form a paste scraping down the sides as necessary. Transfer to an airtight container and add the remaining oil on top and refrigerate for up to 3 weeks.

Note: Dried chili peppers should be handled with care to avoid burning hands or fingers. Use gloves when handling peppers.  Always wash hands after handling chile peppers.

 Harissa is a garlicky chile paste. Harissa adds tons of flavor to all of your favorite dishes, without the extra calories. This sauce can been used alongside of crudité platters as well as adding it to meats, poultry, seafood, vegetables, pasta and eggs. It is also a great addition to hummus and aioli.

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