Inspired by the classic American Waldorf salad, this arugula and apple salad recipe features two kinds of apples along with celery, baby arugula, and walnuts. Grapes are added for extra refreshment.
In place of the customary mayo-only dressing, this salad is dressed with a combination of plant-based and vegan mayonnaise, with a splash of lemon juice.
Though this recipe has taken a few creative liberties, it stays true to the simplicity of the original Waldorf recipe that inspired it. It’s that very simplicity that has made it stick around for well over a century. Here’s an interesting history of the Waldorf salad.
A little about arugula
Arugula’s flavor is often described as peppery or mustardy, though these terms fail to capture its unique flavor. It’s not a standard ingredient to traditional Waldorf salad, but adds a bit of heft and green goodness to the mix.
Arugula is traditionally a cool-weather green, making an early spring appearance with a follow-up in the fall, when it grows late into the season. These days, however, you can find arugula year-round in well-stocked supermarket and natural foods stores.
It’s a relative of the cruciferous (aka brassica) family of vegetables, which also includes kale, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower. Baby arugula leaves are less pungent than larger leaves that are allowed to grow larger before harvesting, though neither are bitter greens. See lots more in our Guide to Arugula.
What kind of meals does this salad go with?
There are few meals this salad wouldn’t be welcome with, especially in the fall and early spring. Here are a few main dishes it goes especially well with.
- Vegan Tofu Quiche with Vegetables and Herbs
- Vegan Tetrazzini Pasta with Plant-Based Chick’n
- Creamy Vegan Scalloped Potatoes
- Quinoa and Cauliflower Pilaf
Photos by Hannah Kaminsky, BittersweetBlog.com.
- 1 medium sweet apple, quartered, cored, and thinly sliced
- 1 medium tart apple (like Granny Smith), quartered, cored, and thinly sliced
- 2 large or 3 medium celery stalks, sliced thinly on the diagonal
- 2 big handfuls baby arugula leaves, plus more for serving
- 3/4 cup coarsely chopped toasted walnuts
- 1 cup green or red grapes (halved if large)
- Pinch of salt
- A few grindings of fresh pepper
Coconut Yogurt dressing
- 2/3 cup plain coconut yogurt (or other plant-based yogurt)
- 1/4 cup vegan mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Pinch of cinnamon
- Combine all the salad ingredients in a mixing bowl and toss together gently.
- Combine all the dressing ingredients together and mix well. Pour about 1/4 cup into the salad and toss; pass around the rest for topping individual servings.
- Store leftovers of the salad and dressing separately in airtight containers in the refrigerator, where they’ll keep for a day or two.
If you like this arugula-spiked salad, you may also enjoy …
Here are lots more plant-forward salads & sides.