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A freak Waldorf experiment

This is not the best thing in the world I cook - it's not even the fingernail on the hand of best thing I cook. But it's the thing I can't get enough of right now - it's a guilty pleasure, like the culinary equivalent of those weird satellite reality TV shows like When Good Pets Go Bad.

What is it? It's some sort of Waldorf caught in a freak nuclear accident sort of thing. Like The Fly, but with a salad. And no flies.

Like Waldorf, there apple, celery and walnuts in there, all mayonnaised up. But there's also a bit of carrot, some dry-fried pumpkin seeds and some chick peas, roasted in the oven for 20 minutes til they begin to crisp up and go a little more chewy, and with umeboshi seasoning poured over for the last few minutes.

There's even some shiso rice seasoning on top, which doesn't (as far as I can tell) add much to the party apart from a rather fun purpleness. Hey, sometimes, that's all you need to get the nod for inclusion into a recipe - it's why purple sprouting broccoli always seems that bit better than the non-purple kind.

Either way, I can't get enough of this at the moment. I make double batches so I always know there's a little in the fridge if I start getting a bit twitchy for it.

In order to justify my obsession with eating this, I tried to make it into some Japanese style arrangement - swapping the apple for nashi pear, adding a bit of soy to the pumpkin seeds as they roasted. It didn't work - the pear was too wet, the soy too salty.

So this salad had to stay as it is - just plain, just tasty, just one more bowl...

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  1. This sounds pretty good to me. Curious about the umeboshi seasoning? Is that umeboshi plum vinegar or a dried seasoning?

  2. Anything with roasted chickpeas and seeds in it is totally worthy of fiending for.

  3. I've never ever eaten Waldorf salad — it never appealed to me and always seemed to have too much mayo. And the combo of apples with mayo always put me off. For some reason though, your version sounds good. Maybe it's the addition of chickpeas, pumpkin seeds and umeboshi that does the trick.

  4. I can see how this would be quite tasty! As we head towards warmer weather, I will have to try something like it!

  5. Shamefully, I've never had a waldorf (though it always sounds amazing and homey). It's funny you mention shiso, I am absolutely in love with that condiment right now, probably because it's salty. And awesome.

  6. I don't care if it's not the best thing in the world you cook, it sounds awesome!

  7. Hey, I love the creativity of this! A fusion of two cultures at the least. And, I totally agree that some food offerings get their moment in the sun - or the blog - just because they are different. Celebrate difference!

  8. I just saw your profile from Veracious Vegan, and were you in Mexico City?! I love it!


  9. This sounds delish. Will you post the recipe? I love how you used chick peas instead of fake meat.

  10. Waldorf salad has always had a place in my heart thanks to my grandma. I always swap the mayo for cashew cream or tofutti sour cream, but it never occurred to me to add more stuff!! Brilliant ideas here- ((checking cupboard for walnuts now)))


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