When I was a little girl growing up here in Southern California, I was not too fond of the big ol’ walnut tree in my backyard. The nuts that fell from the tree onto our concrete patio in the fall would hinder my afternoon rollerskating sessions. Many a skinned knee was blamed on those wayward nuts.
Times changed. I eventually grew to love California walnuts. What’s not to love? They’re delicious and a great source of protein, fiber, and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), the plant-based form of omega-3 fatty acid. But what’s the best thing about California Walnuts? They’re sending me to New York City to stay at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel, where my recipe,Waldorf Flatbreads with Walnuts, Fennel, Blue Cheese and Arugula will be on the menu for brunch during the month of September. My recipe won the grand prize in California Walnut’s Waldorf Salad Refresh Recipe Contest. What a happy surprise! I originally shared the recipe with you here, along with a little history of what the original Waldorf Salad was all about.
The Waldorf Salad has been served at the Waldorf Astoria for nearly 100 years. Over the years, the iconic salad has become a beloved dish that has inspired countless variations served in restaurants around the world. The recipe served at the Waldorf Astoria has also been updated over the years. One of the first changes to the original recipe (and probably the most delicious) was the addition of walnuts in the 1920s.
I guess they were ready for another rendition. The contest was open to cooks, foodies, and culinary enthusiasts of all skill levels. The challenge was to create and submit a creative twist on the classic Waldorf Salad while incorporating the salad’s three signature ingredients: walnuts, celery and apples. All of the other finalist recipes looked great–I was blown away when they contacted me to tell me I had won the grand prize.
And here’s a weird coincidence. The day I received the e-mail from California Walnuts informing me that I was the big winner and was headed to New York, I had broken my I [Heart] NY coffee mug while doing the morning dishes.
Well, as you can imagine, I am beyond excited about the win, the trip (and getting a new coffee mug) and the recipe being featured at the Waldorf Astoria. I feel so fancy! Thank you, California Walnuts!