Another spell of mid-nineteenth century cookery had me under its charms last week. Lunch for 16 was due from the hearth at noon and the heirloom cabbage in the garden of this 1840s farmhouse museum was ripe for the picking.
To balance the hearty plates of boiled potatoes with mushroom ketchup and thyme, steamed cabbage with pickled corn relish, and pan-fried sausage, I scoured the delightfully unscientific early American cookbooks for a salad dressing recipe. I hoped fresh greens with a tangy vin would hit the spot.
What I found has become my latest favorite dressing. The recipe below is quite loose, and I've firmed it up considerably from the original. Feel free to make adjustments and enjoy!
1. Hard boil TWO EGGS. Peel and separate the whites from the yokes.
2. Blend the yokes with a little bit of water until smooth (use can use a fork, but the perks of modern day life include a mini-food processor that makes quick work of it).
3. Add ONE PART TARAGON VINEGAR and THREE TO FOUR PARTS OLIVE OIL (start with 2 tbsp as one "part" and tailor from there for your tastes).
4. Add a dollop of good mustard (I've had pleasant results with stone ground, a little less than a tbsp full).
5. Add a small pinch of SUGAR.
6. Season with SALT and PEPPER.
7. Blend all together very well and dress greens.
8. Roughly chop the hard boiled egg whites and sprinkle on top of the dressed salad.
9. Eat well and don't forget to tip your hearth cooks.