Some holiday foods seem to have largely gone out of style. I have vague memories of decorative salads made by carefully arranging canned fruits and other ingredients on individual plates that were served at holiday gatherings when I was a child – but haven’t had one of these salads in years. But when I saw a recipe for Winter Salad in the December, 1922 issue of American Cookery, I was intrigued, and decided to give it a try. A canned peach half, that is surrounded by grapefruit segments, is filled with chopped celery and pecans, and placed on some lettuce leaves. It is then topped with whipped cream flavored with paprika and topped with a candied cherry. (I used a Maraschino cherry.)
I wasn’t quite sure about this recipe – the combination of ingredients seemed very unusual and I thought it extremely unusual to flavor whipped cream with paprika instead of sugar. That said, the Winter Salad was very attractive in an old-fashioned way.
This recipe won’t quite make the cut for the family Christmas dinner. I can’t quite picture serving it to friends and family at a holiday event (some things are just out of style); however, the combination of ingredients and flavors actually worked – and I can honestly say that the salad was tasty.
Here’s the original recipe:
The recipe provides no information about how many peach halves should be used; however it does say that 1/2 cup of cream should be whipped. This recipe makes a lot of whipped cream, so I think that the recipe is for a large can (29 ounce) of peaches (or a quart of home canned peaches) – which typically contain about 8 peach halves. So I indicated below that the recipe is for 8 servings. However, it is easy to use smaller amounts of the various ingredients if fewer servings are needed.
Here’s the recipe updated for modern cooks:
29-ounce can peach halves (8 peach halves)
2 -3 grapefruit (peeled and separated into segments)
2 stalks celery, chopped
1/4 cup pecans, chopped
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons lemon juice
8 candied or Maraschino cherries
Arrange lettuce leaves on individual salad plates, and top with a peach half. Surround the peach half with grapefruit segments. Fill each half with a mixture of the chopped celery and pecans.
Meanwhile, put the heavy cream in a deep mixing bowl; beat until soft peaks form. Add the paprika, salt, and lemon juice; beat to combine. Spoon 1 tablespoon of the whipped cream on top of each filled peach, then top with a cherry.
29 thoughts on “Old-fashioned Winter Salad”
I think I would leave out the paprika and celery otherwise, it would be a nice Christmas breakfast addition.
A fun thing about recipes is tweaking them to make them work better for your family. This could make an attractive Christmas breakfast addition.
Absolutely–make it fit your taste!
I love the seasonality of this. No fresh fruit except the citrus, so canned will have to work here. I’m intrigued by the paprika cream!
This is a really good point. Today we so often eat foods that are out of season and transported thousands of miles. There’s something to be said for considering seasonility when developing a menu or recipe.
I liked the paprika whipped cream. It made me realize that we have a very narrow vision of how whipped creamed can be used – and only think of sweetened whipped cream – when there also can be a more savory version that is also tasty.
I learned some about savory versions of foods only thought of as sweet while I was in South Africa! It changed my perspective on a lot of foods. The first time I made savory French toast, or savory bread pudding was eye opening!
It’s fascinating how different cultures approach some dishes in very different ways.
Wouldn’t the lemon juice curdle the cream?
I didn’t have problems with this – though I also think that the lemon juice could be omitted without having much effect on the recipe.
I remember making a ‘salad” with a ring of pineapple at the base, a whole banana as the candle verticle within and a marachino cherry on top.
Oh, I think I saw a recipe for the salad you’re describing somewhere in a hundred-year-old cookbook. Now I wish that I’d made it.
My aunt still does the lettuce, cottage cheese, pineapple ring & maraschino cherry salad for family dinners. She is 94 – funny thing is she won’t eat it because she doesn’t do cottage cheese. I do remember the half banana candle pineapple ring version and of course for kids ‘ants on a log’ (banana or celery with pb and raisins). I too am intrigued by the paprika whipped cream, something to give a little color perhaps and not so fresh paprika doesn’t have much flavor.
What a fun story! – thanks for sharing. The paprika (and the lack of sugar) definitely made the whipped cream taste different from modern whipped creams – but, if expectations are set aside, it was tasty in its own way.
I trust your judgement, but on reading this recipe I’m underwhelmed. Peaches (tinned -that’s so 1950s) and celery and grapefruit aren’t reeling me in at all.
Most of the time I select hundred-year-old recipes that immediately appeal to me. Occasionally, however, it’s fun to try recipes that seem unusual by modern standards. And, often, like this time, I’m pleasantly surprised when I make the recipe.
Fair enough. And I’m probably missing out … but I’ll still pass. I love this blog – you have a knack of selecting things that stop me in my tracks, amuse or comfort me, and generally are a great addition to my day.
I give you props for all the things you try! I think it is interesting in an historic research way that you explore how people ate and how they viewed food in a time when (probably) none of us were living. Your color photograph shows what the black and white photo doesn’t–the colors and textures that make this look like a holiday treat. The whipped cream with paprika makes me think it might be similar to using sour cream in ways that we do now. I assume they did not have manufactured sour cream in 1922, as I remember my grandmother making “clabber milk” when she needed sour dairy.
I decided to make this recipe when I noticed that it was listed on the cover of the December issue of American Cookery. It made me realize that the editors considered it a holiday treat that would appeal to many of the magazine’s readers. I’m guessing that you’re right about the sour cream. I have no idea when it was first commercially manufactured.
That is one of the things that makes your blog so interesting–the exploration of things we don’t see or know much about these days!
Hehe! Oh yes. I remember my grandmother making something like this – different fruit, ricotta cheese, the same lettuce leaves and flavored mayonnaise (long before anyone dreamed of mayochup)! I was never a fan…
Now you’re making me want to try mayochup. 🙂
Canned fruits did play a much bigger part in the lives of us who grew up through the 60s.
I remember a lot of canned pear and canned peaches with cottage cheese and maybe a dab of mayonnaise on top. Mararchino cherries were considered a treat, but I never liked them. When I was a freshman I went with an admirere to an ice cream shop and we ordered sundaes. When I asked him “Would you like my cherry?” he almost exploded.
That certainly makes a good story:)
Yes, we ate a lot more canned vegetables when I was a kid, too.
Now that that most vegetables and fruits are available year round, I don’t buy nearly as many canned foods as I once did.
What a fun story!
That’s a tasty photo of Winter Salad. Love the old-fashioned charm of it.
I’ve not heard of using Paprika like that, that’s interesting.
It’s nice to hear that you liked the photo. I was pleased with how it turned out.