Saturday, December 23, 2006

Watergate Salad

Watergate Salad
Dorcas Annette Walker

An attractive salad gives an added touch to a meal rounding out whatever may be nutritionally lacking. Many people love to make a meal out of a salad, especially in hot weather. Today there are oodles of salad recipes that one can choose from. Watergate Salad is a favorite that I often use as you can make it ahead of time or at the last minute.

Salads have been eaten since ancient times. Sources say that salad came from the French salade of the same meaning as the Latin word salt (sal), while others claim that the term salade derived form the Vulgar Roman herb slata meaning literally salted herb. The ancient Greeks and Romans enjoyed a variety of salad dishes using raw vegetables dressed with vinegar, oil, and herbs. After the fall of Rome salads became less important in Western Europe. During the first half of the twentieth century the American salad consisted mainly of iceberg lettuce with summer vegetables or in the winter various fruits. In 1915 the evolution of salads started with Hellmann’s mayonnaise until 1930 when molded salads became popular using Jell-O. Today our American culture enjoys both tossed and molded salads.

A salad is a mixture of chopped or sliced ingredients and can be served cold or at room temperature. Salads can also be used as a filling for a sandwich. Depending on your whim you may eat the salad as an entrée, along with the main meal, a side dish, or as a dessert. Not only are salads ideal for the calorie conscious, unless loaded down with a calorie-laden dressing, but salads can be as varied as your appetite. The variety of salads makes it easy for the cook to use whatever is on hand or in season. While some salads are complex others use only a couple ingredients. Be creative in make salads by adding leftover pieces of meat, raw vegetables, or fruit.

Interesting enough no one claims credit for the Watergate Salad. To advertise the launching out of the pistachio pudding mix in 1975, the Kraft Company developed a recipe using pistachio pudding called Pistachio Pineapple Delight. According to Kraft Kitchens when the recipe was sent out a Chicago food editor renamed it Watergate Salad to promote interest, which became an instant hit due to the political situation in Washington. Neither article nor editor has been tracked down. The name Watergate Salad stuck and has remained popular. Preparation time for the Watergate Salad takes about ten to fifteen minutes and serves twenty.

Watergate Salad

In large bowl mix together:
1 can crushed pineapple
1 box instant Pistachio pudding

1 (16 oz) container cool whip

Mix thoroughly with Wisk and then fold in:
1 bag mini marshmallows
½ cup nuts of your choice
Pour into dessert dish or individual molds and chill. Can serve molds on lettuce leaf or as a dessert. Watergate Salad also freezes well. May garnish with mint!

Dorcas Annette Walker is a freelance writer, author, columnist, and photographer from Jamestown, TN. If you have any cooking tips or favorite recipes you are welcome to contact me by mail at: Dorcas Walker, 929 Wildwood Lane, Jamestown, TN 38556 or email me at: For more information about the Walker family and Dorcas’ books check out her website at: or htpp:// for other Creative Mountain Cookin recipes.


Shirley said...

For extra pizazz try adding about 1 cup of green or red seedless grapes, sliced. This really adds to the taste.

Shirley said...

For extra pizazz, try adding a cup of sliced seedless grapes to this recipe.

Dorcas Annette Walker said...

Thanks for sharing! I never thought of adding grapes to my Watergate Salad, but it sounds yummy!

Rachel Page said...

I think this is the same recipe from my childhood and man I loved this stuff!