2-24: Parisian Ham-Mushroom Salad

It’s been a while since we’ve done a salad. This recipe, 2-24: Parisian Ham-Mushroom Salad sounded fancy, and I had found myself with mushrooms, ham, and lettuce. Simply Delicious leans heavily on French cuisine, so it’s not surprising to see them attempt a French salad. But is this an actual French dish, or just something made up for Americans (like the classic “Chinese” example, General Tso’s chicken)?

I Googled a bit to see if there was an actual ham & mushroom salad that was a known part of French cuisine, and I actually was able to track down a somewhat similar recipe from Raymond Blanc, a well-renowned French chef. He published a Gruyere, ham, & mushroom salad recipe in a few of his cookbooks, noting that it came from his French hometown near the Franche-Comté region (not near Paris).

As I mentioned before, this dish is apparently from an eastern region of France, not near Paris (which is more towards the northern center). I suppose they named it Parisian because it sounded fancier than just plain French.

Wait a minute…where’s the ingredients shot? For the first time in 130+ recipes…I forgot to take the shot of all the things lined up. I even did line them up, thought I took the picture (I was doing multiple recipes that day–I’ve written before about how I mess that up sometimes), and disassembled it to carry on cooking without actually taking the picture. Oy.

I’ll attempt to do my best to recreate it with emojis here: ???? I didn’t have any tomatoes, but I did have the sweet peas.

Ok. So, I sliced up my ham…

…sliced up the cheese…

…and washed and chopped the lettuce (I used some leafy lettuce from the CSA box instead of iceberg). I realized after that it was supposed to be in strips, but oh well. Mushrooms came sliced, so I just threw those in as-was.

Combined the dressing ingredients (this one doesn’t use cream like Raymond Blanc’s does).

After mixing together–it’s probably a lighter dressing than the original. Gotta love the calorie-conscious 1980s.

Sliced my somewhat-sprouted garlic to rub on the bowl.

Minced the other garlic (I’m not proud of that “mince” at all, I was rushing) and tossed it in. If I wasn’t rushing, I would have done it in the food processor and emulsified it properly, but I didn’t feel like dragging it out and then cleaning it for such a small amount of dressing.

Layered the salad components in the bowl as opposed to the decorative stacking I used to do in my garde manger days (hey, if we’re getting French, I’ll go with it).

Drizzled my dressing and tossed my salad. ? I didn’t refrigerate it, but if you choose to, refrigerate JUST the dressing before you put it on the salad–the longer it sits on the leaves, the soggier they get.

Here’s a big mushroom-y, hammy, cheesy bite of salad, with some peas sprinkled in. I have no idea why they decided to include peas too, but why the hell not. I didn’t eat much of it (but I did pick a good bit of ham and cheese out to snack on), but it wasn’t the worst salad I’ve ever had. Kind of like a misguided chef’s or Cobb salad. If I did it again, I’d probably make the Raymond Blanc one.

Grade: C