At this time of year, my mother-in-law used to start making her regular winter salad of diced apple and celery garnished with walnuts and some thinned-down Helmann's. I loved it; I don't often make it because one of the very few things my husband really doesn't like is celery. Weekday lunches - if they aren't leftovers - tend to consist of things-he-won't-eat, in particular lentils and spices.
The apples in our garden are beginning to ripen, and I can see the Cox's orange pippins from the window of my study. There was a head of celery in the veg box this week. So I got dicing. It was only then discovered there were no walnuts. I was always going to tweak the classic recipe a little - we don't really eat much mayo in this house, for obvious reasons, so I was planning to use a lemon vinaigrette. The only nuts I could find were either mixed with dried fruit, so no good, or almonds, which didn't seem the thing. And so I looked in the fridge, where I found some freshly sprouted mixed seeds ... I'm never going to use walnuts again, it was that good. A fresher taste, but still nutty.
Light Waldorf salad for 2 or 3
2 small apples
4 sticks of celery
some sprouted seeds - mine were a Riverford mix of aduki, mung, lentil, and chick pea, but any of those would do
Squeeze the juice of a lemon into a bowl (if you like your salads extra lemony, grate a little of the zest into the bowl, too). Core and dice the apple - leave the skin for its goodness, taste and roughage. Put the apple into the bowl, and make sure it is well coated with lemon juice as this will prevent the apple browning. Chop the celery into the bowl, add olive oil and seasoning. Mix well, then add a couple of handfuls of seed sprouts.
May time on Mersea Island - You may remember that at the end of last year I blogged about our visit to Mersea Island in winter, today we returned ... it's our nearest seaside, an hour...
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