Old-fashioned Apple and Celery Salad

Celery and Apple Salad in dish

I always enjoy Waldorf Salad, so was intrigued by recipe for Apple and Celery Salad in a hundred-year-old cookbook. It seemed very similar to Waldorf Salad – but with fewer ingredients (just apples and celery). I wondered, would I miss the nuts and raisins in the typical Waldorf Salad?

The verdict- Apple and Celery Salad was nice, but I prefer Waldorf Salad with the added crunchiness and sweetness of the nuts and raisins.

Here’s the original recipe:

Recipe for Celery and Apple Salad
Source: The New Cookery (1921) by Lenna Frances Cooper

I went with the mayonnaise option when I made this recipe, and I did not garnish with lettuce. (Exactly how do you garnish with lettuce?) I also did not peel the apples. To be totally honest, I somehow failed to notice that the apples weren’t supposed to be peeled until I started writing this post. When I made this recipe, I was in a hurry and just glanced at the recipe, and thought that this would be an easy recipe because it was Waldorf Salad minus half the ingredients. I should have read it more carefully. The salad would be different (and less colorful) if the apples had been peeled.

And I also failed to notice that I was supposed to marinate the apple pieces in lemon juice – but we ate the salad soon after I made it, so the apples didn’t discolor. (I think that coating them with mayonnaise also slows discoloration).

I used just enough mayonnaise to coat the celery and apple pieces (about 1/2 – 2/3 cup).  I previously made the Golden Salad Dressing recipe that is listed in this recipe when I made another recipe from this cookbook: Pineapple and Strawberry Salad with Golden Dressing. Golden Salad Dressing recipe can be found in that post.

I’m now realizing that I barely made the original recipe for Apple and Celery Salad – and am fascinated that I somehow failed to do so many things quite right with such a simple recipe. I guess it’s a lesson learned about carefully reading directions even for the easiest recipes. That said, the recipe turned out well, so the updated recipe for modern cooks is based on how I made it..

Here’s the recipe updated for modern cooks:

Apple and Celery Salad

  • Servings: 5 - 7
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

2 cups chopped apples (about 1/2 inch pieces) –The apples can be either peeled or not peeled.

2 cups chopped celery (about 1/2 inch pieces)

1/2 – 2/3 cup mayonnaise

Combine apple and celery pieces; stir in enough mayonnaise to lightly coat the pieces.


24 thoughts on “Old-fashioned Apple and Celery Salad

    1. It’s nice to hear that you think I did just fine. I sometimes struggle to figure out what is the right balance between trying to replicate old recipes and update them for modern cooks.

    1. Grapes would be good in Waldorf Salad. It’s interesting that your mother used fresh grapes in Waldorf Salad while mine used the dried version.

  1. I loved Waldorf salad also, but have not had it nor thought of it in years! I think the peel adds to the recipe–both color, crunch, and taste! However, I did enjoy your description of your making the dish–that was the best part. 🙂

    1. Thanks – It’s nice to hear that you enjoyed my description of making the salad. Sometimes when I think that I’ll just write a very short (somewhat boring) post, when I start writing, I then suddenly realize that I have more to say than I thought.

  2. It’s funny to see this, as I had just made a Waldorf salad last week, having forgotten all about them in the last two decades! I wonder if this predates Waldorf Salad (invented, I am guessing, at the Waldorf Hotel in NYC—maybe they gussied it up?) I cut vegan mayo with cashew yogurt and lemon juice and added dried cranberries and toasted walnuts. Perfect for an end-of-summer lunch.

    1. It’s interesting that we both suddenly decided to make Waldorf Salad-type recipes recently. Your method of making the salad sounds wonderful.

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