This past week in Denmark has been amazing. We even had a day where I thought to myself, “Wow, it is kind of hot outside!” This weather screams for ice tea, BBQ, hanging out in the back yard with friends, and salads.

Here at home, I’m known as the “salad ninja”. Morten rocks it with all the meats, but I’m in charge of the veggies. Over the past six years, I’ve been scouring the internet for new ideas and developing our family favorites. This salad is a meal in and of itself. We can eat this several times during the week and not get tired of it.  The recipe comes by way of the Hillstone Restaurant Group. I know it in LA as Houston’s. I’ve never had this salad there (I can’t order anything but their ribs with coleslaw), but I imagine it is pretty amazing.

Bon appétit Magazine did a feature on the Hillstone group and shared a few of their secret recipes. I can highly recommend the Thai Steak and Noodle Salad if you can get some good ripe mangoes. It is also a bit of a beast when it comes to its assembly. It is amazing, but know that it will take you some time to make it.

In spite of the fact that I am not a coleslaw fan, I ADORE theirs. I probably make it here once a month.

Today’s salad is their Spinach and Chicken Waldorf. Don’t be put off by the “waldorf” title. It doesn’t resemble anything I ever thought of as a waldorf salad. (There isn’t any mayo, celery or grapes in this recipe.) We did, however, make adjustments to fit our family preferences (I’m not crazy about eggs in my salad, we don’t like raisins in our salads, and we don’t often see frisée in the grocery store.)

Here is our version of the salad. Give it a shot and let me know how it works for you. The original recipe says that this will make 4 servings. They are HUGE. I also tend to just eyeball the veg depending on who’s here for dinner.

Spinach And Chicken Waldorf Salad

Ingredients

Dressing

  • 3 tablespoons Champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons horseradish mustard or 2 tablespoons prepared horseradish plus 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 4½ teaspoons sugar
  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • ⅓ cup walnut oil or olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons crumbled bacon (from about 2 slices)
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper

Salad / Assembly

  • ¼ cup almonds (we use sliced almonds)
  • ¼ cup cashews
  • ¼ cup walnuts
  • 4 cups chopped green cabbage (or spidskål if you’re in Scandinavia)
  • 4 cups sliced curly kale (grøntkål – We buy the packages where it is already chopped for us)
  • 3 cups torn rotisserie chicken
  • ¼ cup crumbled bacon (from about 3 slices or more if you like bacon 😉 )
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
  • 1 large red-skinned apple, shredded on a mandoline or box grater
  • 6 ounces sharp cheddar, grated (about 1½ cups or less – judge it by your taste)
  • 8 cups mature spinach leaves (we like it chopped)

Dressing

Whisk vinegar, mustard, and sugar in a small bowl until sugar is dissolved. Whisking constantly, gradually add olive oil and then walnut oil; whisk until emulsified. Add bacon; season with salt and pepper.

Do Ahead: Dressing can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.

Salad and Assembly

Preheat oven to 350°f /175°c. Toast almonds, cashews, and walnuts on a rimmed baking sheet, tossing halfway through, until golden brown, 8–10 minutes. Let cool, then chop.

Toss cabbage, kale, chicken, bacon, and nuts with dressing in a very large bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Add apple, cheddar, and spinach; taste and season again with salt and pepper. Divide among plates, piling as high as possible.

 

Recipe by Hillstone Restaurant Group (with our family’s edits)
Photograph by Eva Kolenko