Recipe by Armand Harris and Marcy Timberman
This holiday feast favorite salad is a great keeper to go with leftovers. It’s scaled for a crowd (about 12 servings), but feel free to scale it up or down.
In keeping with our approach of creating confidence in the kitchen, we offer the following variation on a classic Waldorf salad in a “no-recipe recipe” format. (Take a look at Sam Sifton’s article in the New York Times, October 14, 2015 to see that this recipe-writing style is becoming a trend.)
You can play with the amounts of both the apples and persimmons, even completely substituting the persimmons for the apples. The quantities are not exact. Most recipes calling for fresh, cut-up apples, especially in baked goods, can be replaced with Fuyu persimmons. For instance, a classic fresh apple cake recipe can use Fuyu persimmons instead of apples with excellent results.
Ingredients and Method:
Using a microplane, zest 2 lemons, then juice them, reserving zest and juice for the dressing. Do the same with the 2 oranges, keeping lemon and orange juices separate.
Choose 3 to 4 firm medium apples (about a pound), using a mixture of as many varieties as you like. Wash, dry, core, and chop the apples into large dice (This will yield about 3 cups of diced apples.)
Choose 4 to 5 firm, ripe Fuyu persimmons. Wash, dry, core, and chop into a large dice to make an amount equivalent to the apples.
Toss diced apples and persimmons together in a large bowl with the juice of the 2 lemons to keep the fruit from browning.
Choose 1 pound of fresh, firm grapes. Wash, dry, and de-stem the grapes, then halve or quarter, depending on size. This will make around 2 to 3 cups of prepared grapes. If you don’t like grapes, leave them out.
Wash and dry 5 or 6 stalks of celery. Medium chop them to make around 2 or 3 cups chopped celery. Save the tops and leaves for another purpose.
Add grapes and celery to the apples and persimmons and mix together.
Mix the juice if the 2 oranges with approximately 2 cups of mayonnaise, using more or less mayonnaise depending on how moist you would like the salad and your love of mayonnaise.*
Stir the lemon and orange zest into the dressing, and if you like the flavor of fresh ginger, grate some of that into the dressing. Toss salad with dressing and chill until cool and crisp. Before serving, add 1 cup of coarsely chopped walnuts. Leave out the nuts if you prefer. Taste. Adjust seasoning by adding more orange zest and ginger. Toss again and serve.
*For a lighter dressing, leave out the mayonnaise and add in a splash of balsamic vinegar and some olive oil to the orange juice, zests, and ginger.
Armand Harris and Marcy Timberman