Salmagundi – My Favorite Festive Salad

The apple-walnut salad was so delicious that it inspired me to make my all-time favorite salad: Salmagundi. Some say the name is a corruption of “Solomon Gundy,” but that still doesn’t tell you anything. It’s an old-fashioned salad – dating back  to Colonial times.

Salmagundi

Fresh spinach leaves

Bib Lettuce (or use, as I did, some “Spring Greens” mix)

Leaf Lettuce

4 slender celery stalks

4 scallions, green ends cut off

2 roasted red peppers (the kind in a jar), cut lengthwise in 4ths

4 sweet gherkins, sliced lengthwise

2 oz  tin of flat anchovies

1/2 lb imported prosciutto, or substitute Virginia ham

2 slices Swiss Cheese

1 hard-boiled egg, peeled and quartered

Vinaigrette salad dressing (see below)

Slice the prosciuttto (or ham) and cheese in strips. Wash and drain the greens and pat them dry with paper towels. Remove tough stems and strings from the spinach leaves. Using a large platter, put a small heap of Bibb lettuce, or spring greens, in the middle, then lay out the spinach and lettuces on top of that, in radiating spokes, so that the stem ends are at the center, and the leafy ends are at the perimeter of the platter. Arrange alternating spokes of the celery and scallion. Between each of those, a strip of red pepper, and to each side of the red pepper strips, some prosciutto (or ham) and cheese. Place anchovies and gherkins at regular intervals all around, and place the quartered egg in the center. It can be kept briefly in the refrigerator, covered in plastic wrap. Pour on the vinegrette before serving. Each diner gets a segment containing all the ingredients (keep that in mind as you arrange the thing).

Salmagundi ingredients, except for the lettuce, spinach, anchovies and egg:
The finished Salmagundi, sans dressing (this one serves four people):

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