Monday, 10 August 2015

A Neat but Reet Petite Salade Marguerite

I don't know about you, but when I think about Hors D'oeuvres it's not necessarily salads that spring to mind, but Fanny has different ideas. Maybe she's thinking differently as she showcases creations she likes to call 'Flowerlike salads'? I should be learning by now that for Fanny, it's all about the presentation, but for me, when I think 'salad' I think of leaves, maybe dots of cheese, some vegetables and a dressing. We know that when Fanny thinks 'salad' she thinks eggs, so really it should be no surprise that she gives us two further variations on egg salads, both presented in typical Fanny style.

Fanny Cradock Salade Marguerite

For the first, or most simple variation, for beginners, the Salad Mimosa, Fanny suggests chopping vegetables and eggs very finely and arranging them in any plain, round, glass dish. Fanny uses diced peas, cubed green beans, severed celery, sheared spring onions, divided cooked potatoes... You get the idea. Anything that is to hand really, and anything with some colour. Anything which goes well with mayonnaise too, another of Fannys staple ingredients.

Fanny Cradock Salade Marguerite

I have little gem lettuce, tomatoes, orange peppers, peas and eggs - so a real flurry of colour. Fanny cuts everything to the same teeny tiny size - including chopping the egg white and egg yolks separately, to add colour to the finished, prepared Salad of course. Chopping is the key. Very small chops. When I've been in the States and had a Chopped Garden Salad, I've really enjoyed it. This reminds me of that, not many stray leaves in sight, just fresh, raw vegetables flung fastidiously together with Fannys flair.

Fanny Cradock Salade Marguerite

Fanny loads up the ordinary glass bowl with a bed of vegetables. I use little gem lettuce though, despite not being sure how Fanny would react. She says it's basically a criminal culinary offence to slice lettuce with a knife, as it will only weep. We don't want that, and besides no self-respecting cook would dream of it, hand shredding is the only way professionals do it. Oh dear. The bed of chopped (horrifically) lettuce is mixed with perfectly ordinary mayonnaise and the rest of the vegetables arranged on top. They can be 'meanly moistened' with olive oil, if preferred. Arranged in diamond segments, naturally. No weeping has occurred as far as I can see, maybe just in Fannys memory.

Fanny Cradock Salade Marguerite

Fanny Cradock Salade Marguerite

This makes the basic Salad Mimosa. Those who know Fanny well however know that there is always a second level to take even the most basic of dishes to. For advanced cooks. Hors D'oeuvres are no exception. To transform the Salad Mimosa into a showstopper Salad Marguerite it's essentially a case of smothering the whole lot in more mayonnaise and decorating it like a flower. With egg. The whites are sliced lengthways to become petals and the yolk kept round as a centrepiece. It seems a shame in one way to cover up all that triangular handiwork, but the finished flower does look very summery. It's all about the way it looks after all, but the completed salad tastes fresh, crunchy and wistful, perfect for showing off. That's the whole point isn't it?

Fanny Cradock Salade Marguerite

6 comments:

  1. I've totally had my vision of salads changed since looking at old cook books! Did you draw the line at dicing the peas? I do love the use of the egg, very pretty!!

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    1. I did draw the line at chopping peas! I think we've completely changed what we mean as 'salad' these days, I'm enjoying some of the simple old school ones!

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  2. It wouldn't be a Fanny recipe if there wasn't something strange happening with an egg now would it :P

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    1. Best stay away from the blog for a bit... more eggs coming your way!

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  3. How fabulous, I have a memory of the hors d'oevres trolley at Fernie Castle in Fife I eWas in awe of the rotating dishes of delicious things on it in the 1970s, I'm sure Fanny's Mimosa salad would have fitted right in!

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    1. Ah, I'd love to have seen that! Sounds amazing!

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