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Buffalo Waldorf Salad

COOK TIME
20 mins
PREP TIME
30 mins
SERVINGS
2-4
RATE THIS RECIPE
(5)
William Hereford
COOK TIME
20 mins
PREP TIME
30 mins
SERVINGS
2-4
RATE THIS RECIPE
(5)

Ingredients

Pickled Celery
  • 3 large ribs celery, very thinly sliced on the diagonal
  • 1/3 cup unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt (Diamond Crystal or about half as much Morton)
Salad
  • vegetable oil, for deep-frying (about 2 quarts)
  • teaspoons white sugar
  • teaspoons kosher salt (Diamond Crystal or about half as much Morton)
  • 1 cup very cold seltzer
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 large medium-tart apples, like Pink Lady or Honeycrisp
  • 1/4 cup Frank's RedHot Buffalo Wings Sauce, plus more for serving
  • 1 cup candied walnuts, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
  • 2 scallions, very thinly sliced on the diagonal
  • freshly ground black pepper

Chef notes

I've been making this one for years, back when I was cooking food that didn't come on garage-sale McDonald's plates and did catering for movie productions and once saw Tom Cruise walking. It came from some of my favorite foods playing a game of telephone in my head after a couple of tokes. Plus, it makes me feel like I'm eating chicken wings, but it's vegetarian and technically a salad so you can call it healthy!

The celery in the classic Waldorf got me thinking about blue cheese and Buffalo wings, and the next thing you know I'm frying apples and reducing hot sauce, then mounting it with butter. And that's how we made wing sauce at Turkey and the Wolf. That is until one day in a pinch, Nate swapped in Frank's RedHot wing sauce and called to inform me that we didn't have to worry about making our own no more. And I said, "That's good. One less thing."

Swap option: You could swap and use any candied nut and your favorite brand of Buffalo sauce.

Preparation

For the pickled celery:

Put the celery in a small heatproof bowl. In a small pot, bring the rice vinegar, sugar, salt and 1/3 cup water to a boil, stirring so the sugar dissolves. Pour the boiling liquid over the celery, give it a stir and let it cool to room temperature. It's good to go and keeps in the fridge for up to 1 month.

For the salad:

1.

Set up a cooling rack or line a baking sheet with paper towels. Get 2 inches of oil to 350 F in a heavy pot over medium-high heat. While it's heating up, combine the sugar and salt in a small bowl.

2.

In a medium bowl, combine the seltzer and flour and gently whisk it together until it's smooth. Pop this batter in the fridge until the oil's ready. When you're ready to fry, core the apples, then slice them into half-moons that are somewhere between 1/8 and 1/4 inch thick.

3.

Working in four batches, dip the apple slices, one by one, in the batter, then carefully add them to the oil. Fry, flipping them once with tongs halfway through and trying your best to separate any that stick together, until they're light golden brown, 5 to 6 minutes per batch. Move them to the cooling rack or prepared baking sheet and season with the sugar-salt mixture, then repeat with the rest of the batches.

4.

Once the apples are all fried and seasoned up, move them to a platter. Spoon the Frank's over them and top with the candied walnuts, blue cheese, pickled celery (but not the liquid) and scallions. Grind on some pepper and serve with the bottle of Frank's on the table for anyone who's feeling extra spicy.