Salmagundi Recipe | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon

Salmagundi Recipe

Move over antipasto and charcuterie, this is the new summer salad to eat now

I know, I had never heard of salmagundi either until last summer when I was thumbing through some old cookbooks and magazines of my mother’s and found a recipe for the cold, composed salad. The idea of putting an assortment of meats and things together reminded me of charcuterie (one of my favorite genres of food) so I made my own version and it was a hit with the whole family.

Honestly salmagundi is more of a concept than a recipe, so please feel free to improvise, in fact you must! This is one of those classic recipes that came from a time when cooking meant doing what you could with what you had on hand.

Salmagundi Recipe
Donna Britt
The cold, composed salmagundi is a perfect summertime salad made up of a variety of meats, veggies and other foods served with a chilled dressing.

The word itself is thought to be derived from the obscure 16th century French word salmagundis which means a jumble of things, ideas or people; a motley assortment of things. Which is fitting as this salad is composed of all kinds of ingredients, anything and everything from meats and seafoods to eggs and pickles — things that you might not even think of eating together at the same time that, thanks to a delicious cooked and chilled dressing, come together perfectly. The earliest salmagundi recipe has English roots and dates back to the 1730s.

The salmagundi is really about presentation and of course, the salad dressing. Do take the time to make the dressing. If you don’t, you’ll just have a random platter of pretty food, not that there’s anything wrong with that, but the dressing ties it all together for a memorable experience. It’s not hard but there are a few steps involved. You can make the dressing ahead of time since it needs to be chilled anyway.

Serve this lovely salad with a crusty loaf of bread and maybe a bottle of your favorite white wine or spritzer for an absolutely stunning summertime feast. 


Serves 6-8


- 3 - 3 large egg yolks

- 1 - 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

- 1 - 1 teaspoon salt

- 1 - 1 teaspoon dry mustard

- 1 - 1¼ cups half & half

- 3 - 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small cubes

- 2 - 2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard (or brown mustard)

- 1 - 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives or parsley

- 1 - 1 teaspoon grated lemon or lime zest, optional

- 2 - 2 tablespoons lemon or lime juice

Fill a large bowl with ice and set aside.

Combine egg yolks, flour, salt and dry mustard in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan; whisk until smooth. Slowly add half & half and whisk until blended. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a spatula or wooden spoon, until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon without running off, approximately 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat and pour through a fine mesh strainer into a metal bowl. While still hot, whisk in butter, mustard, chives, zest and juice. Place bowl over the large bowl filled with ice to let mixture cool, stirring occasionally. This will take about 20 minutes. Once cool, transfer to serving bowl and cover surface directly with plastic wrap. Chill for at least 30 minutes. The dressing will continue to thicken as it chills.

For the salad:

Use any meats or seafoods of your choice, such as sausages, grilled shrimp, prosciutto, salami, etc. Place meats on a large platter along with a variety of other foods such as tomato wedges, cucumber slices, mixed greens, pickled okra or any kind of pickled veggies, celery, carrots, olives, hard boiled eggs, anchovies, nuts, grapes, onions, apple slices, hunks of cheese, etc. Serve with chilled dressing on the side along with lemon/lime wedges.

About The Author

Donna Britt

Food writer, food stylist, recipe tester, cookbook editor, podcast producer/host are a few of the creative hats Donna Britt wears. Donna loves to hike, paddle board and spend quality time with family and friends. Oh, and she also collects cookbooks and cast iron cooking vessels.
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