by Andrea Sperling




I remember when I was a kid my mom ordered a Waldorf salad at a restaurant instead of her usual iceberg lettuce wedge with  Russian dressing. I tasted it and loved the crunchy mix of apples, celery and walnuts served on a bed of lettuce. The Waldorf salad was invented at the Waldorf Hotel in Manhattan (now the  Waldorf Astoria Hotel) in 1928, and it deserves a comeback.

I was recently working with my friend Barbara Goodman on a project and she served me a celery root remoulade for lunch, another seminal dish, which combines celeriac, also know as celery root,  with a mustard aioli.  It was so delicious that I was inspired to go home and make my own twist on the dish- a Waldorf celery root salad.

The classic Waldorf salad uses mayonnaise to hold it together, but I'm not a big fan of mayonnaise. For a lighter, fresher taste, I use Greek yogurt. It's a lovely gluten-free dish for fall and winter.



Serves 4-6

Don't be shy with the mustard here. Start small, see if you like it and if you want it to have a bit more of a tang, by all means add more. This dish is great served over escarole or lettuce as an appetizer, or as a side dish with fish.  Feel free to add some chiffonaded kale to the salad, too. Since the celeriac can turn brown, it needs to be acidulated right after it's shredded. You can peel the apple, or leave it unpeeled. I liked the unpeeled little pieces of lime green Granny Smith for color. Garnish with the walnuts and lemon thyme. If the thyme isn't available, use parsley. 


¼ cup walnuts

4 cups peeled and shredded celery root – about 1 large celery root

1 ½ teaspoons sea salt + 1/8 teaspoon sea salt

Zest and juice of 2 lemons

2 1/2 tablespoons organic plain Greek yogurt

1 ½ tablespoons Dijon mustard

2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar

Freshly ground black pepper, as needed

2 teaspoons fresh lemon thyme or parsley

1/2 cup toasted walnuts

1 Granny Smith apple,  cored and diced ( approximately 1 cup)

Salt, as needed

Freshly ground black pepper, as needed



Preheat the oven to 350.

Place the walnuts on a parchment lined baking sheet and toast  for about 8 minutes until lightly brown and fragrant, tossing frequently. Do not burn. Set aside. When cooled, roughly chop.

To prepare the celery root, cut off the top and bottom ends. Using a knife, cut down the sides the way you would cut a pineapple. Grate the celery root in a food processor or use a hand grater to shred. If you're not afraid of using a mandoline, like me, grate it into matchsticks.   Place the celery root in a bowl and sprinkle with 1 1/2 teaspoons of the salt and 1 ½ tablespoons of the lemon juice so the celery root won't turn brown. Set aside.

To make the vinaigrette, in a small bowl whisk together the yogurt, mustard, apple cider vinegar, lemon and lemon zest and salt. Add fresh pepper to taste.

Combine the vinaigrette with the celery root. Toss well. Adjust seasonings, if necessary. Before serving, add the diced apple, toasted walnuts and lemon thyme.



by Andrea Sperling



East meets Middle East in these black and white gluten-free sesame treats. East is gomasio, Japanese black toasted sesame salt, and Middle East is the tahini, unhulled white sesame seeds and pistachios.  I like these little snacks because they satisfy my craving for a dessert, but yet they're not cloyingly sweet like the peanut honey bars you find in a lot of Indian stores.

My daughter and I have eaten them for breakfast a few times when we're in a rush, too.  Between the sesame seeds, tahini and nuts, they have a lot of protein, calcium and fiber. They're also great for an afternoon snack.  Just check your teeth after you eat them, as the black and white sesame seeds can get stuck between your teeth.



Make sure you mix the almond butter and tahini mixture thoroughly with the dry ingredients so they don't fall apart.  Use a good quality almond butter - once,  I made them using almond butter from a jar and they weren't holding up as well as when I had the almonds freshly ground at the health food store.

You can make them without the gomasio and just add more sesame seeds. You can add rose water, dates, apricots or spice it up with cardamom. This recipe is just a starting point. Cut them into squares, diamonds or rectangles.



 1/2 cup raw cashew nuts

3/4  cups unsweetened dried coconut

1/3 cup organic almond butter

1/3 cup tahini

1/4 cup coconut sugar, sucanut or other organic sugar

1/2 cup raw honey, maple syrup or agave

1/2  teaspoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt

1  cup raw white sesame seeds

1/2 cup gomasio

1/3 cup chopped pistachios

Optional: 1/3 cup chopped apricots, dates or golden raisins



Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Take an 8” x 8” baking pan and line it with a 8” x 10” piece of parchment paper. One inch will hang over on two sides and this will help you lift it out of the pan easier.

Spray some olive oil spray on the bottom of the parchment paper and set aside.

In a food processor, pulse the cashews and coconut until they make a fine flour.

On the stove, heat the almond butter, tahini, coconut sugar, honey and vanilla until well mixed.

Don't overheat. Let it cool slightly.

In a separate bowl, combine the coarse sea salt, white sesame seeds, gomasio, flaxseed and pistachios.  Add the cashews and coconut mixture and stir until thoroughly mixed. If you're adding the dried fruits, add them here.

Pour the warm almond butter mixture in with the other ingredients, and with your hands thoroughly mix.

Press the mixture into the baking pan. Flatten it evenly with the bottom of a glass. Bake for approximately 15 minutes.

Refrigerate for several hours before you cut them.