Nearly a week after Thanksgiving, with a pile of turkey still left over, I am starting to disguise it so it doesn’t taste like we’re eating the same thing for days on end. No more potatoes, gravy, stuffing for us, preferring instead to lighten things up a bit. Not that this salad is all that light, but its piquant flavors, crunchy textures, pretty colors and service on top of bitter greens like local organic mizuna make it feel very distant from the groaning board of last Thursday.
Waldorf Salad, hailing from the famed (and gorgeous) New York City Waldorf Hotel of the 1890s, is traditionally composed of apples, celery and walnuts in a mayonnaise dressing. I made a different dressing, with the requisite mayonnaise cut with sour cream and curry powder. I added raisins so that the dressing would become chutney-like, and sprinkled the apples with lemon juice, which in addition to keeping the fruit from browning, added spark to the ensemble. Plus cubed turkey of course. The bitter greens were a great counterpoint. This was a successful impromptu arrangement that actually would be worth making again with chicken when turkey becomes a distant holiday memory. (The Turkey Board, if there is such a thing, would diss me for that statement, I’m sure.)
Curried Turkey Waldorf Salad
1½ c cubed cooked turkey (or chicken) breast
1 small apple, cored and cubed (1/2 inch dice), sprinkled with juice of ½ lemon
1 stalk celery, stringed and cut into ½-inch pieces
2 tbsp or more walnut pieces (toasted or not)
2 tbsp or more raisins
2 tbsp good quality mayonnaise
2 tbsp sour cream
1 tsp curry powder
Optional: a little milk
Optional garnish: sliced green onion tops or chives
Bitter greens such as endive, mizuna, radicchio, arugula
Combine the turkey, apple, celery, walnuts and raisins in a serving bowl. Combine the mayonnaise, sour cream and curry powder in a small bowl to make a dressing for the salad. If it seems too thick, thin with a few drops of milk. Toss the dressing with the other ingredients, combining well. Serve on bitter greens and garnish with sliced green onion tops or chives, if desired.