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Salmagundy

A Golden Oldie from Food History News

Salmagundi is a 17th & 18th century composed salad of cold chicken with anchovies, boiled eggs, green beans, boiled onions, grapes, and dressed with a vinaigrette.

"To Make Salamongundy"

Take two or three Roman or Cabbage Lettice, and when you have washed them clean, swing them pretty dry in a Cloth; then beginning at the open End, cut them cross-ways, as fine as a good big Thread, and lay the Lettices so cut, about an Inch thick all over the Bottom of the Dish. When you have thus garnished your Dish, take a Couple of cold roasted Pullets, or Chickens, and cut the Flesh off the Breasts and Wings into Slices, about three Inches long, a Quarter of an Inch broad, and as thin as a Shilling; lay them upon the Lettice round the End to the Middle of the Dish and the other towards the Brim; then having boned and cut six Anchovies each into eight Pieces, lay them all between each Slice of the Fowls, then cut the lean Meat of the Legs into Dice, and cut a Lemon into small Dice; then mince the Yolks of four Eggs, three or four Anchovies, and a little Parsley, and make a round Heap of these in your Dish, piling it up in the Form of a Sugar-loaf, and garnish it with Onions, as big as the Yolk of Eggs, boiled in a good deal of Water very tender and white. Put the largest of the Onions in the Middle on the Top of the Salamongundy, and lay the rest all round the Brim of the Dish, as thick as you can lay them; then beat some Sallat-Oil up with Vinegar, Salt and Pepper and pour over it all. Garnish with Grapes just scalded, or French beans blanched, or Station [nasturtium] Flowers, and serve it up for a first Course."

[From Hannah Glasse, The Art of cookery...1747, p. 59-60]

Mrs. Glasse's recipe is very similar to Henry Howard's 1726 instructions in England's Newest Way in all Sorts of Cookery...which suggests veal, pickles, sorrel, spinach, chives, horseradish, and barberries. Still others from Glasse use apples, cucumbers, celery, watercress, pickled red cabbage, and pickled gherkins for vegetables, and pickled herring, cold pork, duck, or pigeons for meat. Mrs. Raffald, The Experienced English Housekeeper...[London, 1775, p. 280-281] endorsed pickled herring and garnishes of butter in a pineapple shape. Dressings were usually oil and vinegar or lemon, and sometimes mustard.

The Salad:
2 heads romaine lettuce
2 breast of cooked skinless chicken, (and/or your choice of cooked duck, veal, or pork)
4 boneless cooked chicken thighs
1 lemon
2-4 hard-boiled eggs
3-4 anchovies

For garnishing and augmenting, your choice of the following:
flat leaf parsley
pearl onions cooked
green beans blanched and frenched
red and green grapes
pickled red cabbage
watercress
spinach
pickled gherkins
edible flowers

Vinaigrette:
1 tbs. prepared mustard
4 tbs. red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup olive oil

Shred the lettuce and lay on a platter. Cut the cold meat in julienne, slice the lemon thinly, dice or slice the eggs. Arrange the meat, lemon, and eggs on the lettuce. Add to the platter your choice of parsley, onions, green beans, grapes, watercress, pickled cabbage, gherkins, and edible flowers Mix vinaigrette and dress the salad with it, or serve the dressing on the side.

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