Salad ala Dumas

 

 

lettuce

A version of this salad can be found in Alexander Dumas’ Grand Dictionnaire de Cuisine.

In a large pestle or suribachi, place a few tablespoons of olive oil, a couple of lobes of garlic, a tablespoon of shoyu, a tablespoon of finely minced capers, the juice of half-a-lemon, a few generous twists of fresh ground black pepper, a tablespoon of prepared mustard, a couple of anchovy fillets, a pair of hard-boiled egg yolks, and a splash of aged balsamic vinegar.

Impress everything together into a rich paste. Salt is not necessary since the capers, anchovies, and shoyu are already quite salty.

This dressing coats vegetables with the rich, yolk-softened flavor of anchovies and garlic and is enlivened by a lemony, vinegary kick. The fats in the yolk and oil counterpoint the acidity, while capers and shoyu lend their aromatic salinity. Meanwhile, the balsamic vinegar provides a bright syrupy tang.

Use this dressing on a simple salad of heirloom tomatoes, red onions, radishes, carrots, red peppers, peeled and seeded cucumbers, and generous amounts of both minced flat-leaf parsley and basil.

Enjoy this with a warm crust of country-style bread and fresh organic butter. It will pair equally well with both red and white wines providing they have enough lively acidity to stand up to the vibrancy of this dressing. Consider a Pinot Noir or cold-climate Chardonnay.