Waldorf-inspired baby gem salad with caramelised walnuts and quick-pickled green apple

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This revamped Waldorf salad swaps out excessively pungent chunks of blue cheese for a creamy and herby blue cheese dressing, and is elevated further with cubes of sweet and tart pickled apple. A Waldorf salad for the Waldorf haters. 

First published in 2024




Quick-pickled green apple

  • 3 green apples, finely diced
  • 150ml of white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cane sugar
  • 300ml of water
  • 1 bay leaf

Caramelised walnuts

Blue cheese and chive dressing




Begin by preparing the quick pickled apple. Take all of the ingredients except for the apples and bring them to a simmer in a pot over medium heat

  • 150ml of white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cane sugar
  • 300ml of water
  • 1 bay leaf

Once the pickling liquor comes up to temperature, remove from the heat and leave to cool


Once cooled, pour over the diced apple and cover with cling film


Chill in the fridge and leave to pickle whilst you prepare the caramelised walnuts


Add the walnuts, sugar, water and butter to a pan over medium heat


Stir regularly for around 5 minutes, until the sugar begins to melt down and coat the walnuts


Once they caramelise, transfer them to a sheet of parchment paper and carefully separate each of the nuts to avoid sticking


Leave them at room temperature to solidify and cool for around 10 minutes, then transfer to a bowl until ready to plate


To make the blue cheese dressing, whisk together all of the ingredients except for the sliced chives


Use a spoon to stir through the chives once the dressing has come together, then season with salt and pepper


Strain the pickled apple and mix them together with the diced celery and red grapes


To serve, lay out the baby gem leaves over the base of a serving platter


Fill with the apple and celery mix, then scatter over the caramelised walnuts


Garnish with a generous drizzle of the blue cheese dressing, along with the celery leaves

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