Guest chef

Áine Carlin

Former film actress Áine is a vegan food and fashion blogger. Her cookbook, Keep It Vegan, offers over 100 straightforward and delicious recipes for all occasions.

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Waldorf salad cups

  • Serves 6
  • Makes about 18
  • Prep 40 mins
  • Total time 40 mins
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Waldorf salad cups
Waldorf salad cups

step by step

  • 1Roughly chop the hazelnuts and add to a dry frying pan. Toast over a medium heat until they begin to colour, tossing frequently. Set aside until needed.
  • 2Roughly chop the celery and add to a large mixing bowl. Grate the apples, squeeze out the excess moisture and add to the bowl. Squeeze over a little lemon juice to prevent them from browning.
  • When it comes to Christmas dinner, you need a starter that is quick to assemble, easy to eat (even while stirring the gravy...), as well as light enough to not spoil your appetite for the main event. My crunchy and fresh Waldorf salad cups are a joyfully festive rehash of a classic. Nobody will complain when you bring out a tray of these beauties.
  • 3Add the pomegranate seeds (reserving a handful for the garnish), all of the dried cranberries and the dill.
  • 4In a separate bowl, whisk the dressing ingredients together, season to taste and add two-thirds to the apple mixture. Stir to combine and, if it seems a little dry, add a touch more dressing – you want the mix to still have bite and texture. Stir through the toasted hazelnuts – reserve a small handful for garnishing.
  • 5Separate the leaves of the Little Gem lettuces and fill each leaf or 'cup' with a spoonful or two of the mixture. Serve platter-style on a large board or serving plate. Dot a little more of the dressing over the cups and garnish with the remaining pomegranate seeds, toasted hazelnuts and a final smattering of freshly chopped dill.
  • Recipe photograph by Toby Scott

Get ahead

Make up to 4 hours ahead.

You will need

  • 75g blanched hazelnuts
  • 3 celery sticks, washed
  • 4 eating apples (mix of green and red), cored but not peeled
  • a squeeze of lemon
  • seeds from 1 pomegranate
  • 3 heaped tbsp dried cranberries
  • ½ x 25g pack fresh dill, fronds chopped, plus extra to garnish
  • 2 Little Gem lettuces

For the yogurt dressing

  • 100ml soya yogurt
  • 4 tbsp egg-free mayonnaise (we used Chippa May-O)
  • juice of ½ orange
  • 1 tbsp cider vinegar

+ Nutritional Information