Inspired by Michelle‘s Veg Wednesday posts …


Joseph Pennell (U.S., 1854-1926)
Waldorf Astoria Hotel, Thirty-Fourth Street and Fifth Avenue (original location).  c. 1904-08
drawing on brown paper : colored crayons over pencil sketch ; sheet 29.3 x 23.1 cm
Library of Congress
Image via here.

The camera was charging so I couldn’t take a photo of the real thing, so here is a picture of the Waldorf itself.  I love Waldorf salad, it somehow seems classic yet whimsical at the same time, and I am always happy to revisit it when I remember it.  It’s a boon when there isn’t an otherwise cohesive collection of ingredients on hand – I actually prefer some limitations as it often results in more creative menu-planning.  (My Veg Wednesday forays are more about including more vegetables in our diet rather than being strictly vegetarian.)  So this is what we had the other night based on what was on hand.

Oven-baked risotto (inspired by a Donna Hay recipe for pumpkin risotto from The Age years ago)

  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 2 cups stock
  • 1/2 cup water or wine
  • 2 medium zucchinis, grated
  • kernels from 1 medium cob of corn
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed
  • 30g butter
  • salt and pepper
  • Parmesan

Combine everything except cheese in a lidded casserole/oven dish.  Overlap some foil over the top of the dish and put on the lid.

Bake in moderate oven for about 30-40 minutes, until all liquid is nearly absorbed and rice is firm but tender (al dente I guess).  Be careful not to overcook or it will be mushy.

Grate in some parmesan, stir and replace lid for a few minutes.  Serve with more parmesan.

Waldorf Salad  (You probably don’t need me to tell you this, but this is what I did)

  • celery, finely sliced
  • red apples, cored and diced
  • walnuts
  • just enough mayonnaise to dress

Combine all ingredients.  Serve in a bowl lined with cos lettuce leaves if you like (I actually used some iceberg).  Stephanie Alexander also includes orange segments in the salad, but I haven’t tried this.

Stephanie also mentions that the salad can be dressed with sour cream.  Although usually one for a chef-approved shortcut, I couldn’t resist the lure of homemade mayonnaise.   I made mine with 1 egg yolk, salt, a small squeeze of lemon juice and 100mls oil (1/2 e v olive and 1/2 peanut as I find all olive oil too strong).  I used about half of this for my salad.

And for dessert, chocolate chip cookies from the River Cottage Family Cookbook.  These were at the behest of my young sous-chef and they were REALLY good.  (And the book is too.)

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