Some recipes have real staying power. Take the unassuming Waldorf salad named after the New York City hotel that first served the dish at the Waldorf-Astoria in 1896. The salad wasn’t created by the hotel chef but by the maître d’hôtel Oscar Tschirky.
The Waldorf salad is made up of a few ingredients and has seen many different versions created through the years using added ingredients like raisins or tart cherries.
Long before the dawn of celebrity chefs Tschicky was educating diners at the New York hotel’s dining room about food and wine topics. He was a presence in the dining room and was just as well known as the society people who dined there.
Tschirky’s recipe, which later appeared in a cookbook of his, used apples, sliced grapes and slivers of celery tossed in a creamy mayonnaise and served over a bed of greens. It seems that chopped walnuts were added at some point and the rest is history.
The Waldorf-Astoria is closing the famous hotel doors to accommodate renovations to make way for new condominium units. You can continue to dine on the salad that remained a menu item for decades for hotel guests by making your own Waldorf salad at home.
Try this recipe from The New York Times and get a taste of what has been served in a New York City hotel dining room for all these years. Add some fresh herbs and you can serve this salad all year long.