The unmixed ingredients from a Vegetable
Capers, pickled beef tongue, thick-sliced ham,
diced anchovy filets, diced gherkins, sliced cooked mushrooms, thin-sliced
About five hours including waiting, less if you have an able assistant.
This requires four different periods of waiting, so you can do other things
at the same time.
A fancy copper mold
Thickly line a fancy mold with aspic and chill
until the aspic sets.
Set the chilled mold in a large bowl full of ice
to keep the aspic set.
Carefully decorate the bottom of the inverted
mold (this will be the top when it is unmolded) with a mosaic of the different
diced ingredients. Be flamboyant - it will warn the diners of what lies
Gently pour in some melted aspic and brush it
over the outer decorations.
Chill to set, but do not freeze.
While the mold chills, combine each of the remaining
ingredients in odd combinations into individual salads with some of the
Mayonnaise Collee. The vegetables should be alone with the mayonnaise
(it's OK if the beets turn the mayo pink), and the ham can be mixed with
the gherkins, the anchovies with the mushrooms, whatever strikes your
fancy. The tongue is especially nice if you season it with a touch of
When the decorations are set in place, add dollops
of each of the salads to fill the mold, and cover it with a thin layer
of the aspic. Let the aspic fill every void. When a diner slices into
the unmolded salad, the effect is a random assortment of these bizarre
ingredients - no two servings are ever alike.
Cover with a damp napkin and chill for at least
two hours, preferably four.
Unmold onto a clean white napkin on a nice platter.
Garnish with watercress and parsley and some lemon peel.
Unmolding can be a disaster if the salad was ever allowed to freeze
to the mold. Richmond saved the day at the '04 Gala with the skillful
use of a hairdryer provided by the ever-resourceful Joan Robbins.