Salamongundy is a late-seventeenth-century term for what we might call a main-dish salad. According to British food historian C. Anne Wilson, it was composed of diverse ingredients that ranged from greens, herbs, cucumbers, edible flowers, and lemons to roast chicken, anchovies, and other meat or fish "suitable for the table of a great house or to be offered to special guests."
Hannah Glasse recommended this grand composed salad as part of a first course. She advised the reader to wash the lettuce leaves clean and then "swing them pretty dry in a cloth" before cutting them "cross-ways, as fine as a good big Thread."
This recipe is a modern adaptation of the 18th-century original. It was created by culinary historian Nancy Carter Crump for the book Dining with the Washingtons.
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2 heads romaine lettuce, cored and thinly sliced crosswise
1 roasted chicken (about 3 pounds), carved into breasts, wings, and legs
10 to 12 anchovies
1 lemon, diced
4 yolks of hardboiled large eggs, minced
1 bunch fresh parsley, stemmed and chopped
1/2 pound small white onions (can use pearl onions), cooked and peeled
Mrs. Taylor's Sallad Dressing
Ground black pepper
Blanched red grapes for garnish
Blanched young green beans or haricots verts for garnish
Nasturtium blossoms for garnish
- Arrange the lettuce in a serving dish.
- Remove the skin and meat from the chicken wings and breasts, and cut the meat into thin slices. Alternate the slices with about 10 of the anchovies, sliced if desired, on top of the lettuce and around the dish.
- Remove the skin and meat from the chicken legs, and cut the meat into small dice. Combine with the lemon, egg yolks, parsley, and any remaining anchovies, if desired. Heap the mixture in the middle of the dish, piling it up as high as possible.
- Place the largest onions on top of the salamongundy. Arrange the rest of the onions around the edges of the dish. If you are holding the salad to serve later, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 2 hours.
- To serve, pour Mrs. Taylor's Sallad Dressing over the salad, season with salt and pepper, and garnish with grapes, green beans, and nasturtium flowers.
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