The other thing I did different is I candied my pecans. This is really easy to do, and it's a treat I love in Waldorf salads. If you want to do this, that recipe is below. If not, you should toast your pecans to bring out the flavor, as the original recipe indicates. If you don't have pecans, walnuts would work great, too. The other thing I normally love in Waldorf salads is celery. That's not in this recipe, but I would add it next time. You also could add some chicken in and make it a full dinner.
The recipe calls for frying the wontons/egg roll wrappers in olive oil, but olive oil is expensive. I fried mine in vegetable oil, and they turned out great. Honestly, this adds a bit of time to the recipe, and I don't think it adds that much other than the wow factor. I would skip it next time unless I was trying to impress someone. You definitely should take the time to make the dressing though. It's great and much better than you'd get from a bottle! Be sure to check out Project Pastry Queen to see everyone else's take on this great recipe.
Makes 4 servings
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Fried Wonton Strips
4 sheets packaged wonton strips or egg roll wrappers
Olive or vegetable oil for frying (be careful!)
1/3 cup fresh rosemary leaves
2 cloves garlic
1/4 medium-sized red onion
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup white balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/2-1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup pecans
3 sweet-tart apples, such as Braeburn, Medina, or Granny Smith
4 cups salad greens
1/2 cup crumbled bleu cheese
To make the fried wonton strips, use kitchen scissors or a knife to cut the wonton sheets into 3/4 inch strips. Pour 1/2 inch of oil into a deep frying pan or skillet and heat over medium-high. When the oil is hot, pinch off a piece of wonton and drop it in the oil. You'll know the oil is ready when the strip sizzles. It should brown in 8-10 seconds. Using tongs, flip the strips to the other side and fry for another 8-10 seconds. You can fry several at a time. Adjust the heat or time if your strips get too brown. Place the fried strips on a paper towel to drain.
To make the vinaigrette, blend the rosemary, garlic, onion, mustard, honey, vinegar, salt, and pepper in a food processor or blender for about 15 to 20 seconds or until smooth. Pour the oil through the feed tube or opening in a slow stream while the machine is running. Start with 1/2 cup, and if it's too thick, add more. Blend until it emulsifies; this shouldn't take much longer than it takes to add the oil.
To make the salad: (If you're toasting the nuts) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread the nuts on a baking sheet and toast for 7-9 minutes until golden brown. Cool the nuts and then coarsely chop.
(If you want the nuts candied) Place a silpat or parchment paper on a small baking sheet. Pour 1/4 cup sugar in a nonstick small skillet. Heat over medium high until the sugar melts. This takes about 5-10 minutes, and you'll want to keep an eye on it. Once it's melted and light brown in color, add the nuts and stir to cover them with the sugar. Once the nuts are covered, dump them on the baking sheet and quickly use two forks to separate the nuts from each other. Let cool.
Core and slice the apples into bite-sized pieces. In a large bowl, add the greens, apples, nuts, and blue cheese. Toss gently. If you're eating all of it immediately, pour half of the dressing on top and toss again (if desired). I personally like to dip my salad into dressing so I didn't do this step. Only dress what you'll be eating immediately or the greens will get soggy. Transfer to serving plates and top with the fried wonton strips. Leftover dressing will keep in the refrigerator for three days.
Source: The Pastry Queen