Salad Ala Dumas



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.

You’ll find that the fats in the yolk and oil counterpoint the acidity of the lemon juice and vinegar, while the capers and shoyu provide their own complex salinity. 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.

Serve with warm crusty country-style bread and fresh organic butter. The salad pairs equally well with red and white wines providing they have enough acidity to stand up to the vibrancy of the dressing. Consider a cool-climate Pinot Noir or Chardonnay.