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History Cookbook: Salmagundy

This recipe is in categories Victorians, Healthy eating, Salads
About this recipe
Healthiness : (240 votes)
Difficulty:  1 out of 5 difficulty
Comments: Some items require pre-cooking; hard boiled eggs, chicken pieces and a boiled onion.
Preparation Time: 20 mins
Cooking Time: Some pre-cooking required
Number of servings: 4 little salads
Serving suggestions: Rather small on their own but very charming, serve with a mael or plan your own high tea.

Salmagundy is essentially the same recipe as the georgian 'salamongundy', however as food fashions moved on the dish became a small, delicate individual salad and was served as part of afternoon tea, rather than as a whole dish at a main meal.

The whole dish is made in a tiny tea cup and turned out onto the saucer as a single portion salad. The Victorians and Edwardians made afternoon tea very fashionable. Scones and teabreads, little cakes and cucumber sandwiches all had their place at these elaborate teas.
  • 2-3 lettuce leaves, sliced finely
  • 1 piece of cooked chicken breast
  • 1 boiled onion
  • 1 hard boiled egg
  • A selection of: pickled cabbage, grapes, anchovies, gherkins, watercress, spinach, lemon slices, cucumber slices, capers or nasturtium leaves.


  • 1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
  • 4 tbsp  wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup olive oil

Whisk these together, taste and adjust as necessary.

Serve drizzled over the salad or in a dish so everyone can help themselves.

  • Large sharp knife
  • Tablespoon
  • Teaspoon
  • Tea cup
  • Saucer
Making and cooking it
Always wash your hands before preparing food Always wash your hands before preparing food.

  1. Use a china tea cup as the salad mould
  2. Start by slicing the ingredients finely, these will be layered in to fill the cup
  3. Put a thin layer of lettuce, then egg, chicken and onion
  4. Now add the other ingredients in thin layers. Make sure each layer is packed quite tightly but not squashed. Leave a little space at the top of the cup for some more lettuce
  5. Fill the cup to the brim with the last of the lettuce and place the saucer over the top
  6. Turn the cup upside down, holding the saucer on carefully, to turn the salad out
  7. Gently lift the cup off and you should have a pretty, miniature layered salad on the plate
  8. Serve with a little vinaigrette or lemon juice drizzled over the top
Salmagundy - print view  Salmagundy - print view

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Name: Cardew 13th October 2019
I did this for my school homework ( we're doing Victorians) and found it delicious. Thank you!
Name: Cardew 11th October 2019
I did this for my school homework ( we're doing Victorians) and found it delicious. Thank you!
Name: Nomster 16th December 2013
Salmagundy was really more of a Regency dish - that's when it was at its most popular. Recipes for it appeared in early Victorian books like Eliza Acton's but by then it had passed reached its peak of popularity, and was considered old-fashioned by mid-19th century
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