Show an apple to anyone and, even if they fail to name the variety, they immediately recognize the fruit itself. Pretty easy task – an apple is an apple. But it wasn’t always easy to tell one fruit from another.
A few centuries ago the word ‘apple’ was used as a generic term for all fruit (except berries) and some nuts. In the Middle Ages, a banana bore the name ‘apple of paradise’. Or take a look at the cashews and how they grow. What we know as nuts are actually seeds of the cashew apples bulging from the bottom of the fruit.
Apples are also called pomes but don’t confuse this term with the French word ‘pomme’ that is actually ‘apple’ in that language. In botany, a pome is a type of fruit produced by flowering plants of the rose family to which also pears and quinces are related. The discipline that studies apples and their cultivation is called pomology. Which is quite useless but still a pretty nice fact you could flaunt in front of your guests while munching on a Waldorf salad.
Speaking of which. It was created by the maître d’hôtel of the Waldorf Astoria and gained its popularity at the beginning of the 20th century when people ate much mayo and admired big cars. Eventually, the ubiquitous Waldorf salad fell into the ‘love and hate relationship’ category. It disappeared from the menus, and now it turns out that many people have never actually tried it. But you should definitely give a try. These are the ingredients you’ll need:
For the sauce:
- 6 tbsp mayonnaise
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
For the salad:
- 2 sweet apples, cored and chopped
- 1 cup of seedless grapes
- a couple of sliced celery
- ½ cup of walnuts (toast them if you like or use raw)
- some lettuce
Hate mayo? Not a big deal, use Greek yoghurt instead or blend them together in the proportion you find appropriate.
Method for the sauce
- Take the mayonnaise and mix with the lemon juice.
- Season with salt and pepper.
The sauce is ready!
Method for the salad
Simply mix this with 2 sweet cored and chopped apples, 1 cup of seedless grapes, a couple of sliced celery, ½ cup of walnuts (toast them if you like or use raw) and some lettuce.
Some popular recipes call for Granny Smith apples, but don’t buy any specific varieties, get the freshest – use whatever in season.
However, Waldorf salad might look a little on the heavy side – all this mayo and nuts. If you feel it’s a little too early for such preparations, go ahead and make a light autumn salad with:
- sliced red juicy apples,
- aged firm cheese (like manchego, pecorino, parmesan, or gouda)
But first prepare a simple vinaigrette from 1 part of vinegar of your choice and 3 parts of vegetable oil with 1 tsp of Dijon mustard, 1 tsp of honey and some salt and pepper.
Whisk everything together and pour onto the salad. Slice apples right before serving, otherwise their damaged cells will start browning. And we want fresh white flesh pomes on our plate.