Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Waldorf Salad with Fennel

Waldorf salad, the old stand-by, an apple-celery-nut salad with a rich mayonnaise dressing. I can't tell you how much of this I ate during my college days. Could use with a little updating. I found a recipe from Whole Foods which was a good starting point. But, it's a side salad that contains 400(!) calories. That's rather excessive. Trimmed it down a bit by reducing the nuts and dried fruit, and cutting back on the amount of dressing.

This salad gives me a chance to introduce fennel. Fennel has a slight licorice flavor and great crunch. I'm not a huge licorice/anise fan but fennel has just the right amount. Celery is what usually gives Waldorf salad its vegetable crunch. No celery here, just fennel. Give it a try. Fennel is good raw in any salad. Slice it thin because big pieces can be fibrous. It is also good roasted. Simple and delicious.

Waldorf Salad with Fennel
(serves 4-5)

3 Tablespoons mayonnaise
5 Tablespoons lowfat Greek yogurt
1 Tablespoon lemon or lime juice
1 Tablespoon honey
2 Tablespoons minced fresh mint
¼ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon salt

1 small bulb of fennel or ½ a large one
2 apples, cored and chopped (see Note)
⅓ cup chopped nuts (walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, cashews)
½ cup raisins or dried cranberries

Combine all the dressing ingredients and set aside while you prepare the rest.

To prepare the fennel, cut the bulb in half from the top (the part with the leafy stalks) to the bottom. Cut out the hard core at the bottom of the bulb. Slice the remaining bulb as thinly as you can. Combine the fennel with the rest of the salad ingredients, add dressing, and toss to combine. Add more salt to taste.

Best if eaten immediately because the dressing thins out when it sits in the fridge. But, it's still good. For a more substantial variation, add in some cooked chicken or turkey.

Note: Braeburns or Cortlands are preferred because they don't brown quickly. See our post on apple varieties for more info on our one of our favorite fruits.

Fennel photo credit: By Jamain (Own work) [GFDL ( or CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

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