Use what you have on hand for this composed salad, but give it a Southern twist.

Photo: Antonis Achilleos; Food Styling: Ali Ramee; Prop Styling: Christine Keely
Active Time:
1 hrs
Total Time:
1 hrs 45 mins

Before the Cobb came along, there was the salmagundi. This early composed salad, which originated in 17th-century England, usually included anchovies, chicken, egg, nuts, grapes, and onion. It's one of the few true salad "receipts" that Mary Randolph recorded in her 1824 book, The Virginia Housewife: or, Methodical Cook. She recommended putting "a little pyramid of butter on the top" along with an egg for dressing. Our interpretation has fresh produce (though, like Randolph, you can use what you have on hand) and a cooked dressing instead of butter.

In this recipe for Salmagundi, an antipasto platter meets a salad for the ultimate party. Bright and colorful with lots of textural contrast, this salad is what our summertime dreams are made of. From the salty prosciutto to the pickled okra to the skewered shrimp to the hard-boiled eggs, this cold salad has everything but the kitchen sink tossed in—and we could not be happier about it.

All of the ingredients come together with the boiled dressing, an emulsified egg-and-liquid dressing held together with flour and butter. The dressing comes together quickly in the saucepan—it's important to keep your spatula or wooden spoon moving to release any bits that collect on the bottom and sides of the saucepan while it cooks. Mind your temperature: keep it at medium or medium low if the dressing is cooking too quickly and you cannot stir fast enough to keep up. Make your dressing ahead of time and allow it to chill—it thickens after a trip to the fridge.

Bring this salad on your next picnic or pair with French bread and white wine for a sophisticated dinner.


  • 3 large egg yolks

  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard

  • 1 ¼ cups half-and-half

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small cubes

  • 2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard

  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives

  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest, plus ¼ cup fresh juice (from 2 lemons), divided 

  • Ice

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt

  • ½ teaspoon black pepper

  • 1 pound medium peeled, deveined raw shrimp (about 48 shrimp)

  • 1 ½ cups drained pickled okra pods (or 18 okra pods)

  • 6 hard-cooked eggs, peeled and halved lengthwise

  • 1 pound red beefsteak tomatoes, cut into wedges (about 12 wedges)

  • 3 ounces mixed baby salad greens

  • 3 (2-oz.) pkg. thinly sliced prosciutto

  • 2 cups English cucumber slices

  • 6 lemon wedges, for serving


  1. Combine egg yolks, flour, kosher salt, and dry mustard in a medium-size, heavy-bottomed saucepan; whisk until smooth. Slowly add half-and-half, and whisk until blended. Cook over medium, stirring constantly with a flat-edged spatula or wooden spoon, until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon without running off, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat, and pour through a fine mesh strainer into a medium metal bowl. While mixture is still hot, whisk in butter, whole-grain mustard, chives, and 2 tablespoons of the lemon juice. Place bowl over a larger bowl filled with ice; let mixture cool, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. Once cool, transfer dressing to a serving bowl, and cover surface directly with plastic wrap. Chill in refrigerator about 30 minutes. (Dressing will continue to thicken as it chills.)

  2. Preheat grill to medium-high (400°F to 450°F). Combine olive oil, garlic salt, and black pepper in a medium bowl; add shrimp, and toss to coat. Thread shrimp onto skewers. Place skewers on oiled grates, and grill until grill marks appear and shrimp are cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Remove from grill, and place shrimp in a medium bowl with lemon zest and remaining 2 tablespoons lemon juice; toss to coat shrimp evenly.

  3. Arrange shrimp, okra, eggs, tomato wedges, mixed greens, prosciutto slices, and cucumber slices on a large serving platter. Serve with chilled dressing and lemon wedges.

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