Old-fashioned Date and Apple Salad

Simple, tasty, attractive salads are the best. I recently found a hundred-year-old recipe that fits the bill. Date and Apple Salad has a light lemon and oil dressing. The apples and dates are cut into “match-stick” pieces which makes a lovely presentation; and the tart, crunchiness of the apples combines beautifully with the sweet, chewy dates. This recipe is a keeper.

Here is the original recipe:sh

Source: American Cookery (January, 1918)

And, here’s the recipe updated for modern cooks:

Date and Apple Salad

  • Servings: 4 - 5
  • Difficulty: easy
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8 ounces pitted dates

2 apples

juice from  1 lemon

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons vegetable oil (I used olive oil.)

lettuce leaves, optional

Cut dates into lengthwise into “match-stick” pieces, and put into a bowl. Peel and core apples, then cut into match-stick pieces. Dip apple pieces in lemon juice, then place in the bowl with the dates. Add salt and oil; then gently toss.  If desired, serve on lettuce leaves.

The hundred-year-old recipe called for six tablespoons of oil. This seemed excessive, so I used two tablespoons of oil.

Classic Pear and Celery Salad Recipe

Food presentation is an art. I occasionally see lovely food designs in hundred-year-old magazines that may not quite work a century later. Then again, maybe they do. As food fads wax and wane over time, these old presentations sometimes almost seem refreshingly cutting edge.  Pear and Celery Salad definitely is dramatic, and is sure to be a conversation item at any party; however,I have mixed feelings about whether it is a fun but quirky recipe, or just a bit odd.

Source: Libby’s Advertisement in Ladies Home Journal (February, 1918)

The Pear and Celery Salad is placed on a bed of celery leaves, which creates a beautiful foundation for the salad. Celery slices are heaped into a large mound in the center of the plate, and then surrounded by canned pear halves (poached fresh pear halves would also work well). The mounded celery is topped with a mayonnaise, chili sauce, and nut dressing.

This recipe definitely turned out better than I thought it might. The tender pears melted in my mouth and  their delicate flavor was nicely balanced by the crunchy celery and nuts. The dressing reminded me a little of French salad dressing, except that it was nutty instead of smooth. The dressing worked well with the celery – and was intriguing with the pears.

Here’s the recipe updated for modern cooks:

Pear and Celery Salad

  • Servings: 6 - 8
  • Difficulty: moderate
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3 tablespoons mayonnaise

2 tablespoons chili sauce

1/2 cut walnuts or other nuts, chopped

celery leaves from 1 head of celery

approximately 2 1/2 cups celery, cut into 1/2 – inch slices

1 29-ounce can of pear halves, drained

To make the dressing, place the mayonnaise and chili sauce in a small bowl; stir until combined. Add nuts, and stir. Set aside.

Arrange celery leaves on serving plate, then place the sliced celery in a pile in the center of the plate. Surround the heaped celery with the pear halves which are stood on their edge. Gently spoon the dressing on top of the celery. There may be more dressing than needed. Reserve and extra dressing and serve separately.

Hundred-Year-Old Orange and Mint Salad Recipe

orange-salad-

Orange and Mint Salad is bright and sunny; and the perfect antidote to boring winter foods. The bite-size chunks of orange are mixed with chopped mint, and then drenched in a delightful citrus and wine liquid  to create a refreshing, yet light salad (or dessert).

.  .  . hmm. . . . Now that I think about it, this salad would also be lovely on a hot summer day.  Bottom line: This salad is good whenever you eat it.

Here’s the hundred-year-old recipe

orange-and-mint-salad-recipe
Source: Lowney’s Cook Book (1912)

And, here’s how I updated it for modern cooks.

Orange and Mint Salad

  • Servings: 3 - 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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3 medium navel oranges

2 tablespoons powdered sugar

2 tablespoons mint, chopped

2 tablespoons wine

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 tablespoons orange juice

1 tablespoons maraschino cherry juice (optional)

maraschino cherries and mint sprigs, for garnish

Peel the oranges using care to remove the white membrane. Pull the orange segments apart into two halves, and then pull them apart again so there are quarters. Slice the quarters into pieces about 1/3 inch thick.  Put the orange pieces in a bowl, and gently stir in the powdered sugar and mint.

In a small bowl combine the wine, lemon juice, and orange juice (and, if desired, the maraschino cherry juice). Pour the liquid over the orange and mint mixture.

Serve in champagne (or other decorative) glasses. Garnish with maraschino cherries and mint sprigs.

I only used half as many oranges as were called for in the old recipe.  I also halved the amount of mint that I used.  I did use the full amount of the other ingredients so that I would have plenty of liquid to pour over the orange pieces.

I also added a little maraschino cherry juice to the liquid to give it a lovely pink hue.

And, I skipped the angelica because it’s not easy to find these days. Angelica is the dark green candied fruit that was frequently used in fruit cakes in days gone by.

Hundred-Year-Old Potato Salad Recipe

Potato Salad

Over the next couple weeks I have several picnics on my calendar. Potato Salad is the quintessential picnic food, so I was pleased to find a hundred-year-old Potato Salad recipe.

Potato Salad Recipe
Source: Lycoming Valley Cook Book, compiled by the Ladies of Trout Run M.E. Church, Trout Run, PA (1907)

At first I wasn’t quite sure about the recipe. It didn’t contain the usual Potato Salad ingredients like celery and mayonnaise, but rather was a vinaigrette dressing. Yet, the recipe was so easy that I decided to give it a try.

The Potato Salad was lovely, and the vinaigrette dressing with a hint of pepper was just right. It added a delightful flavor to the potatoes, but didn’t overwhelm them.  This recipe is a keeper.

The old recipe made a lot of dressing relative to the potatoes, so I divided it by three when I revised it. Here’s the updated recipe for modern cooks:

Potato Salad

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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3 large potatoes (approximately 3 cups diced)

3/4 cup  onion, diced

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon vinegar

1/3 teaspoon salt

1/3 teaspoon black pepper

parsley sprigs for garnish, optional

Peel and dice potatoes into 3/4 inch chunks. Put into a sauce pan, cover with water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook until the potatoes are just barely tender (about 5-7 minutes). Remove from heat and drain. Chill in refrigerator for several hours, then add onions.

In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Pour this dressing over the potatoes and onions. Gently toss to coat the potatoes with the dressing. Put in serving bowl; and, if desired, garnish with parsley sprigs.

Old-Time Endive Salad with Homemade French Dressing

Endive Salad

Endive was a popular early Spring bitter green a hundred years ago. This divine tangy homemade French vinaigrette dressing served on crisp endive greens creates a flavorful, nutrient-rich salad.

Even though I found this recipe in a hundred-year-old cook book, it probably was considered a tad old-fashioned in 1916. Cooks a hundred years ago worried that tossed salad greens looked disorganized, and sought to impose order to salads using  scientific salad making techniques that,  for example, embedded ingredients in gelatin. Thank goodness strange food trends get reoriented over time. In 2016, this old recipe seems amazingly modern–and Endive Salad would be perfect with grilled salmon, chicken, or other dishes.

Here’s the hundred-year-old recipe updated for modern cooks:

Old-Time Endive Salad with Homemade French Dressing

  • Servings: 5 - 6
  • Difficulty: easy
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1 head curly endive

1/2 teaspoon mustard

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon paprika

1/8 teaspoon cayenne red pepper

1/2 teaspoon finely minced onion

6 tablespoons olive oil

3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

Chopped chives (for garnish)

Wash the endive and pat dry with paper towels, then tear the endive into bit-sized pieces and put into a large bowl. Set aside.

To prepare the dressing: In a small bowl, combine the mustard, salt, paprika, red pepper, onion, olive oil, and vinegar.

Pour the dressing over the torn endive and gently toss. Refrigerate for at least one hour, then drain off any excess dressing and place the marinated endive in a serving bowl. Garnish with chopped chives.

Here are the original recipes:

Source: Lowney's Cook Book (1912)
Source: Lowney’s Cook Book (1912)

Source: Lowney's Cook Book (1912)

French Dressing apparently was very popular a hundred years ago. Lowney’s Cook Book, a cookbook published in in 1912, had three French Dressing Recipes – none of which are anything like the cloying bright orange bottled dressing that’s in all the supermarkets today. I made French Dressing, Number 2. In my opinion, the original recipe was too salty, so when I updated the recipe, I only used half as much salt as was called for in the old recipe.

Valentine Salad (Heart-Shaped Tomato Aspic with Hard Boiled Egg)

Valentine Salad 4

Several days ago I posted a list of food suggestions for a Valentine’s Day party from a hundred-year-old issue of Boston Cooking School Magazine. The magazine included the recipe for one of the suggestions –Valentine Salad–so, I decided to make it for my sweetheart.

Valentine Salad actually was an old-time tomato aspic  cut into heart shapes, with hard-boiled egg slices. The aspic is a jellied savory mixture of homemade tomato and other vegetable juices.

The presentation was a bit much with the heart-shaped lettuce and aspic, but the Valentine Salad had a surprisingly nuanced and sophisticated tangy tomato flavor. My husband said it tasted like a Bloody Mary without the alcohol.

Here’ s my adaptation of the original recipe for modern cooks:

Valentine Salad (Tomato Aspic with Hard-Boiled Egg

  • Servings: 2 - 3 servings
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print

3 cups diced tomatoes

1/2 medium onion

3 cloves

1 jalapeno pepper (chopped)

3 parsley stems

1 stalk celery (chopped)

1 tablespoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon (1 packet) gelatin

1/4 cup cold water

1 hard-boiled egg (sliced)

Romaine lettuce leaves, cut into  heart shapes

mayonnaise (optional)

Combine tomatoes, onion, cloves, parsley, celery, sugar, and salt in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and strain. Reserve the juice.

In a small bowl, dissolve the gelatin in the cold water. Then add to the gelatin mixture to the hot vegetable juice. Pour into a flat pan approximately 6″ X 6″. Refrigerate until firm.  Briefly dip bottom of  pan in hot water, then slide the jellied mixture onto a plate. Cut part of the jellied mixture into hearts about two inches in diameter. With a smaller cutter, cut the same number of hearts about 3/4 inch in diameter.

To  assemble – For each serving, place a lettuce leaf on a plate, top with a large heart. On top of the heart place a egg slice, followed by a small  heart. Garnish with small pieces of hard-boiled egg.

If desired serve with mayonnaise.

*The cooked vegetable mixture can used in a different recipe. For example, I served it over  rice.

Here’s the original recipe:

Source: Boston Cooking School Magazine (February, 1913)
Source: Boston Cooking School Magazine (February, 1913)

 

Old-fashioned Cranberry Conserve

18-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Tuesday, November 25, 1913:  Nothing to write.

DSCN1146

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

Since Grandma didn’t write much a hundred years ago today, I’m going to share a great hundred year old recipe for Cranberry Conserve.

Cranberry Conserve

1 quart cranberries

1/3 cup water

Juice and pulp of 2 oranges

Grated rind of half an orange

2 cups sugar

1/2 cup chopped raisins

1 cup walnuts, chopped

Wash the cranberries and put into a medium saucepan.  Add the water, oranges, sugar and raisins. Cook until the cranberries burst and are soft. Remove from heat, and stir in nut meats. Put into a bowl and  chill.

Adapted from recipe in Ladies Home Journal (November, 1913)

This dish is excellent. The orange and raisins nicely balance the tartness of the cranberries, and the nuts add a nice texture. This recipe is a keeper and I plan to make it for Thanksgiving.