A way-better-Waldorf

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Joey & Katy show us how to make a way-better-Waldorf salad with creamy kefir dressing (vegetarian; not vegan adaptable).

This recipe uses kefir, one of our absolute favourite ingredients! It’s fermented tang lifts the whole salad wonderfully, and it’s further enhanced with some caramelised honey & chilli walnuts. It’s a sensational salad for the weekend.

Trust us on this one! We’ve subbed in a zingy and punchy stilton & kefir dressing in lieu of the traditional creamy (/slimy!) mayo-based one. And we’ve stuck to seasonal principles using winter-y pears, celery and red onion, as well raisins or sultanas from the baking cupboard in place of grapes; these add a delicious, concentrated sweetness which contrasts the bitter winter leaves very nicely. Even if you’re a sultana-in-savoury-things skeptic we urge you to give these a go! Chopped parsley adds a fresh herbaceous note, and crispy, fiery honey & chilli roasted walnuts add a delightful crunch, and a quirky pop of heat too.

This was a delightful Saturday lunch which was rustled up in 10 minutes and washed down with a Suffolk ale. Our only sadness was the lack of rye sourdough which would have completed the meal perfectly. We hope you enjoy this simple, seasonal weekend recipe on a slow saturday soon.

Ingredients for the dressing:

  • 50g stilton
  • 100g kefir
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar

Ingredients to the salad:

  • 1 endive
  • 1 baby gem or ½ butterhead lettuce
  • ½ red onion, finely sliced half moons
  • 1 pear, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, finely sliced
  • Small handful parsley, chopped
  • 2 tbsp sultanas
  • 40 g walnuts
  • 1 tbsp runny honey
  • 1 tsp dried chilli flakes
  • ½ tsp sea salt

Method:

Start by preparing the dressing and the honey & chilli walnuts. Simply crumble the stilton into a small mixing bowl and ‘smush’ this together with the kefir and red wine vinegar using a fork. It should be a little lumpy and creamy.

If you happen to have the oven on, or are able to pre-toast the walnuts that’s ideal. A light toasting (160 for 8-10 minutes) will enhance their flavour and texture, but this isn’t essential if you’re keen to crack on. Pop the walnuts (pre-toasted or raw) into a small frying pan on a medium heat. Stir and shuffle them often; after 4 minutes they’ll smell nutty and charred. Add the honey and shimmy the nuts around to make sure they’re coated evenly. This will sizzle immediately so work quickly! Sprinkle over the salt and chilli flakes now too which will cling to the sticky nuts. Continue cooking for 2 minutes to cook out the moisture content of the honey; this will ensure that the nuts are dry and crispy rather than tacky. After 2 minutes tip the nuts onto the parchment paper and allow them to cool while you prep your salad.

Simple break apart the endive leaves, chop the lettuce, and very finely slice the red onion into wafer thin half moons. Slice the celery and chop the pear, removing the fibrous core.

Finally, when you are ready to eat, muddle everything together, reserving a few crispy nuts to garnish, as well as a sprinkle of chopped parsley.

Visit Joey & Katy’s website at https://www.joeyandkatycook.co.uk/

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