Giada did it again. I made this updated waldorf salad with a few kid friendly alterations and absolutely loved the results. I love the combination of citrus juice and tangy vinegar combined with toasted couscous and crunchy walnuts. Some say couscous is pretty fool-proof however I beg to differ. For best results toast the couscous before adding the stock or water. The problem is everyones stovetops cook at different temperatures so it easily turns from toasty to burnt. Then if you add the stock and simmer covered too warm, you lift the lid to a congealed brick. So I will not say this one is foolproof, but I will say it is worth the effort. I also tried to serve them in Raddichio as suggested in the recipe, however they wilt quickly and I believe are way too bitter for children. I also chose to stick with the more traditional celery in place of the fennel Giada suggested.
For the couscous:
1 tablespoon oil
1/2 cup whole-wheat pearl couscous
For the vinaigrette:
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup oil
For the salad:
1 large Gala apple, cored and cut into 1/4-to- 1/2-inch dice
2 celery stalks
1 cup small green seedless grapes, halved
3/4 cup walnut pieces, toasted
6 outer leaves from a large radicchio
- Make the couscous: In a small saucepan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the couscous and toast until lightly golden, about 4 minutes. Add 3/4 cup water and 1/4 teaspoon salt and bring to a boil. Lower the heat so the water simmers; cover the pan and cook until the liquid is absorbed, about 10 minutes. Uncover the pan and set aside to cool.
- Make the vinaigrette: In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, honey, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper and the oil.
- Make the salad: In a large bowl, toss together the apple, fennel, grapes, walnuts and couscous. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the salad, tossing until coated.
- Note: I served walnuts on the side to maintain crispness
I paired the waldorf salad with yogurt marinaded chicken breasts. The simple marinade of greek yogurt, thyme, garlic salt, and lemon juice allows for moist chicken breasts when baked in a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes. I topped mie with parmesan cheese and found it to be the perfect pairing. Unfortunately I did not take a plated picture of the dish but was very pleased with the results.