This modern take on a classic Waldorf salad switches out celery for kohlrabi and adds smoked chicken for a wonderful meal in itself. Apples, kohlrabi, walnuts and sultanas combine with smoked chicken and a creamy dressing to make this wonderful modern Waldorf salad!
This is undoubtedly a retro salad from the smoked chicken to the Waldorf salad. Yet there is something quite lovely about a retro recipe. It is crunchy and wholesome and hits all the flavours and textures.
History of the Waldorf salad: The Waldorf salad is named after the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York. It was created in 1896 by maître d'hôtel, Oscar Tschirky for a charity ball. At the time there were three ingredients: apples, celery and mayonnaise but it has evolved to include nuts.
This can be a vegan salad (if you omit the chicken). I actually made this with vegan mayonnaise as I had just made some for another recipe. For me the walnuts really bring this dish together and make sure to toast the walnuts.
What is kohlrabi? Kohlrabi is also known as a German turnip and comes from the same family as cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, Brussels sprouts, collard greens and gai larn. It has a striking striped purple (or cream or green) bulb base with little "spikes" and leafy greens at the top. Both the bulb and leaves are edible and it can be eaten cooked or raw.
The top of the kohlrabi is a bit tougher while the base is crunchier and reminds me of a less juicy nashi pear in texture (not taste). It is said to taste like raw broccoli but to me it has a flavour similar to a radish. I also love kohlrabi sliced thinly, brushed lightly with oil and then roasted at 210C/410F for 30 minutes until caramelised and crispy on the edges.
With kohalrabi look for firm bulbs and bright, firm leaves. The smaller bulbs are better as the larger ones can be tough. Remove the leaves and top and peel the tough outer skin from the bulb. When eating kohlrabi raw treat it like a radish or celeriac - it is great in a crudite platter or coleslaw. When eating kohlrabi cooked, treat it like a potato.
Serve Waldorf Salad with: I served this with pita bread for lunch as it has chicken already in it. Traditionally Waldorf salad was served as an appetiser.
Some of you have asked me about my fortnightly delivery from The Vege Box. I haven't really written much about them because they are really booked up and they have a waiting list. I only skipped the queue because my friend Monica is such a good customer of theirs.
The cost is $80 per fortnight and includes delivery and you receive enough fruit and vegetables to last 2 weeks for 2 people. The variety is wonderful and I love the challenge of being given vegetables like kohlrabi and figuring out what to do with it. I get very excited on the day to see what is coming and the selection is highly seasonal. There are also regulars that appear in every box like carrots, potatoes, onion, tomatoes, garlic and leafy greens.
The produce is incredibly fresh and in the months that I have been getting it I have never received a single bruised apple (I used to think that all apples came with a degree of bruising).
Sometimes I feel like I'm overrun with fruit that we both don't eat much (apples) but that's what is available at the time and that's completely manageable. Also sometimes I have to buy avocadoes as we go through a lot of them.
Even if they're booked up, I recommend looking around for vege box deliveries in your area especially if you're in a bit of a vegetable rut. Prior to this I'd buy baby spinach, tomatoes, onion, garlic and avocadoes every week but I would never have bought kohlrabi and I would have missed out on this wonderful vegetable and salad!
So tell me Dear Reader, do you like waldorf salad? How about retro recipes? Do you have any vege box recommendations?
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Smoked Chicken & Kohlrabi Waldorf Salad
An Original Recipe by Lorraine Elliott
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 0 minutes
Degree of difficulty: very easy
- 2 cups/260g/9ozs. kohlrabi, diced (or 1 cup celery)
- 1 1/4 cups/140g/5ozs. walnuts, toasted
- 2 large red apples, cored and diced
- 1/2 cup/85g/3ozs. sultanas (soaked) or halved grapes
- 200g/7ozs smoked chicken, diced
- 1/2 cup/125ml/4flozs. mayonnaise
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- Cos leaves to serve
Step 1 - Place the kohlrabi, walnuts, apples, sultanas and chicken in a large bowl. Toss with mayonnaise and lemon juice. Serve on cos leaves.