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.