An Authentic Recipe From A Home In Auvergne
This is an authentic, easy and satisfying salad to make.
I call it authentic because my research has produced over 50 variations on the recipe, all of which profess to be authentic.
It can get quite cold among the Auvergne mountains, even at the height of summer, so a filling and hearty salad is ideal.
So, to be sure I had an authentic recipe, I visited a friend living in the Auvergne, and asked her mother to make the renowned salad.
NOTE: She has used Cantal cheese or Fourme d'Ambert (which is a blue cheese). Both are very, very old French cheeses and both are delicious in this salad.
What Is Cantal Cheese Like?
Cheese.com has an in-depth description of the origins of this cheese and what it is like. When well aged it has a thick crust and because it is aged a long time it is " more strongly flavored and is a typical hard cheese with a firm, brittle and crumbly paste."
A sharpe old cheddar would be an acceptable replacement if Cantal is not available.
This is what she came up with, and I think it is wonderful!
Authentic Salade Auvergnate
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A hearty salad for a cool summer's day made with potatoes, ham, cantel cheese, mixed greens, shallots, chives and a zippy vinaigrette dressing.
- 6 medium-sized potatoes – do not peel
- 1 tbsp sea salt
- 1 tsp table salt
- 1 tbsp cider vinegar
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard (although English mustard works very well, too)
- 3 tbsp walnut oil (or vegetable oil)
- mixed green salad, ideally make your own from whatever is currently available at the market, chop the salad, but not too fine.
- 2 slices of cured ham, cut into ½ inch wide strips
- 500 gm/ 1 cup Cantal cheese, or Fourme d'Ambert if you like strong blue cheese, cut into cubes
- 1 shallot, peeled and diced
- 1 tbsp chopped chives
- You could add some chopped walnuts if you wish.
- And, add other vegetables, as I have done cucumbers and tomatoes.
- Cook the potatoes in their skins in salted water for about 20 minutes. Then dry them, peel them, and cut them into slices or cubes.
- Prepare a smooth vinaigrette by mixing the walnut oil, the cider vinegar, table salt, pepper, and the mustard and the shallot. [Start with the cider vinegar, salt, and pepper, stirring well; then add the mustard, then the oil a little at a time, whisking until the dressing is smooth.]
- Add the salad, and toss well for about 3 minutes, then add the potatoes, ham, and cheese.
- Add the shallot and chives, and toss again.
- Check and adjust the seasoning, and serve immediately.
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salade auvergnate, french salads, authentic recipe
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