Waldorf Salad

May: National Salad Month

We enjoyed our weekends walking around New York City, less than an hour’s train ride from where we once lived in Woodbridge, New Jersey. There is so much hustle, bustle, excitement and variety in the Big Apple. One time, we just happened upon a parade (one of several but can’t remember the occasion). Then it started to rain. We sought shelter at a famous jewelry store nearby, which gave Islander an opportunity to browse at all the baubles. Looking like a drenched rat, with a dangling button that she forgot to sew on her $14 K-Mart coat (originally $78 but deeply discounted on an off-season sale!), she was ignored and mostly got snooty stares from the salespeople. Well! We continued walking around Manhattan when the rain subsided, passing by the front of the famous Waldorf-Astoria, the scene we most remember from the first “Coming to America” movie. Recalling the recent rude experience from the jewelry store, we did not dare enter the luxury hotel.

Besides the Eddie Murphy film, we know the Waldorf-Astoria for its Waldorf salad—something that Islander’s Mommy would make for the family. The original salad comprised of only lettuce, celery, apples and a mayonnaise dressing—cheap ingredients for a not-so-cheap hotel. Over the years, lemon juice, grapes or raisins and walnuts have become popular additions, elevating the salad to something as iconic as the hotel after which it was named. The recipe that follows is close to what her Mommy used to make.

So if you have a beer budget but champagne tastes, try this easy and affordable Waldorf salad, especially during National Salad Month.


Ingredients (Original)

  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 stalk celery, sliced
  • 1 big apple, chopped
  • 2 cups lettuce (optional torn into smaller pieces)


  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 cup grapes, cut in half
  • 3 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 cup walnut pieces, toasted


In a mixing bowl, stir in the mayonnaise (with lemon juice, if using). Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the chopped apples (and grapes, if using) in the bowl.

Add the celery and mix well. Toast the walnuts, if using. Arrange the lettuce leaves on a salad plate. Put the apple mixture on top of the leaves. Garnish with parsley and walnut pieces, if using. Serve chilled. Yield: 2-4 servings.


  • The mayonnaise dressing is probably what makes this salad “rich”, if not for the cheaper ingredients. For a lighter dressing, combine two tablespoons of mayo plus two tablespoons of plain yogurt instead. Or substitute the mayo for all yogurt.
  • Search our blog for more salad recipes for National Salad Month.