Purple Waldorf Salad

Some things are pretty. Others are clever.  I like to be surrounded by pretty and clever things. And this take on the classic New York salad is just that.

Walnuts are naturally brain food. They are rich in omega 6’s, which are essential fats, crucial for brain function and receptivity.

The addition of radicchio and purple endive infuse the salad not only with a beautiful crimson color but also with anthocyanins, the same phytonutrient in blueberries, which improves mental acuity and brain plasticity. The bitterness of these vegetables is also helpful in detoxifying the body as it stimulates the bile flow enabling old toxins to be emulsified and removed from the body.

The apple and grapes are classic Waldorf ingredients and give a subtle hint of sweetness to offset the bitterness of the purple leaves.

The success of the salad is highly dependent on the mayonnaise. Not too much and only of good quality.  Make your own, preferably, or use a gourmet non-dairy brand.

Pretty and clever – how everything should be.

Photo Credit: Ben Dearnley


  • 75 gm walnuts, plus extra to serve
  • 1 red apple such as pink lady
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/4 celery, finely sliced, leaves reserved for serving
  • 1/2 radicchio, leaves torn
  • 1 purple endive, leaves separated
  • 1/2 cup of red seedless grapes
  • 1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves


  • 1 egg yolks
  • 1/2 tbl white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 4oz olive oil
  • 1 tbl walnut oil
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon, or to taste


For mayonnaise, process egg yolks,vinegar and mustard in a food processor until well combined. Add oils, then add lemon juice to taste. Season to taste. Store leftover mayonnaise in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Toast walnuts in a dry skillet for 3 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Cut apples into julienne and combine with half the lemon juice in a bowl. Add walnuts, celery, radicchio, endive, grapes and parsley. Add 1 tbsp mayonnaise (adding more to taste) and remaining lemon juice, toss to combine.

Season to taste, scatter with celery leaves and extra walnuts and serve immediately.