This section is from the book "The Steward's Handbook And Guide To Party Catering", by Jessup Whitehead. Also available from Amazon: Larousse Gastronomique.
The following is the recipe ror the famous Japanese Salad, from Alexander Dumas, " Francillon." Annette: You must boil potatoes in a little stock, cut them in slices as if for an ordinary salad, and while they are still warm, season with salt, pepper, very good olive oil, with the flavor of the fruit in it, and vinegar. Henri: Tarragon? Annette: Orleans is better, but this is of no great importance; the principal thing is half a glass of white wine, Chateau Yquem if possible. Plenty of small herbs cut very finely. Boil at the same time some very large mussels with a stick of celery, drain them well, and add to the potatoes you have already seasoned. Turn all over very lightly Therese: Fewer mussels than potatoes? Annette: Yes, a third less. One must discover the mussels by degrees; they must neither be foreseen, nor must they assert themselves. When the salad is finished and lightly mixed, cover it with rounds of truffles which have been cooked in champagne. Do all this two hours before dinner, that the salad may be quite cold when served. Henri: Can one keep it in ice? Annette: No, no, no.
It must not be treated with any violence; it is very delicate, and all the aromas must be allowed to blend by slow degrees. "This salad is now being offered at most Parisian restaurants - to such an extent, indeed, that we have had rather too much of it. Your correspondent, whose digestion, like that of the tramp who requested the farmer's wife not to fry his steak, is not that of an ostrich, has had " Salade Japonaise" served him since last writing, no less than fifteen times, and is in consequence a melancholy man. . The Grand Hotel makes of this salad a specialty at dejeuner, each Thursday morning - an innovation which it describes as an original and very Parisian idea".
Dumas's recipe for the Japonaise salad has been experimented with by the Parisian cooks, and as now prepared differs vastly from the famous exposition in Francillon. Chef Gabriel Berquier, interviewed the other day, gives the following recipe as the perfection of Salade Japonaise and the recipe is well worthy oŁ preservation: Boil potatoes in bouillon, mince them up when cold, add shelled shrimps, truffles and tongue cut into the size of halfpence; mix the whole with superior white wine, allow it to macerate for an hour; add to this mixture green sauce as for salad. On the other hand sprinkle minced truffles over slices of fresh or preserved foie gras. Prepare a jelly of meat-juice, white wine, oyster-stock, and gelatine, and spread some of this jelly over each slice of foiegras. Mask some mussels and some oysters in well-set green sauce. To serve, take a long dish, hollow in center. Salad in center; on salad slices of foie gras prepared as above; surround with mussels and oysters. Sprinkle dish over with slices of truffles and of tongue, and make little decorations with the rest of the meat jelly.
Send up to table with some green sauce in the sauce-boat".