Thanksgiving Recipe: Chef Cesar Zapata's Waldorf Salad

Thanksgiving is a holiday that's all about expanding belts and big portions. From the stuffing to the gravy to the mashed potatoes, it's all about the rich and filling. Greens are usually nowhere to be found -- other than buried in a casserole.

But salad makes an excellent (and underrated) addition to any Thanksgiving menu. This Waldorf salad by Chef Cesar Zapata of the Federal is the perfect way to sneak some much-needed greens into your family's dinner selections.

See also: Jugofresh Offering Vegan Pies for Thanksgiving

Waldorf Salad with Cilantro Buttermilk Dressing

Serves 2


  • 1 raw red apple, thin wedges (crisper varieties preferred, ie. Gala, Fuji, Honey Crisp)
  • 1 raw green apple, thin wedges
  • 1 celery stalk - thinly sliced on the bias
  • 2 sprigs mint, rough chop
  • 8-10 blueberries
  • ½ cup walnuts, roasted
  • ¼ cup blue cheese crumbles
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ lemon
  • Salt/pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup cilantro buttermilk dressing (recipe below)


Combine apples, celery, mint, blueberries, walnut, blue cheese and olive oil. Squeeze the juice of half a lemon and toss. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Pool the buttermilk dressing on the base of a plate or shallow bowl. Removing the apple slices from the mixture, arrange them in a crescent shape on top of the dressing. Adorn with the remaining mixture. Serve immediately.

Cilantro Buttermilk Dressing


  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 2 cups sour cream or Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • ½ cup lemon juice
  • 3 sprigs scallion (green parts only), chopped
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 Tbsp yuzu
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • Salt/pepper to taste


Place all ingredients in a blender and mix until smooth. Adjust seasoning to taste with salt and pepper. If dressing is too thick, dilute with a touch more buttermilk. Refrigerate until ready to use.

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Hannah Sentenac covers veg food, drink, pop culture, travel, and animal advocacy issues. She is also editor-in-chief of
Contact: Hannah Sentenac