"The best times you are going to have in life are at the dinner table and in bed." Old Italian saying. So relax, and enjoy the simple things!

27.3.15

Next-Day Beef Salad #French Fridays with Dorie

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Next-Day Beef Salad- simplelivingeating.com


A few years after I graduated college I worked in New York City as a business manager for a small concert opera company. It was very culturally enriching to be immersed in "the world of opera" but it did nothing to enrich my bank account. It was a non-profit company and I made very little money; which was not a big deal because I was in my early 20's, living in a rent controlled apartment on the Upper West Side of Manhattan close to Central Park.

My roommate and I were Macrobiotic which meant we ate brown rice for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Our food budget was $25 dollars a week. We managed to buy besides brown rice, a few beans and and some vegetables. 


Next-Day Beef Salad- simplelivingeating.com

One afternoon I was working at home with a Park Avenue woman Caroline who was volunteering her time to help our fledgling company. She was a lovely, down to earth woman who was willing to help out in anyway she could. I was desperately trying to balance the company's balance sheet, so she offered to put a salad together for lunch from my refrigerator.

When I stopped working to eat, I was amazed at the beautiful salad Caroline had made from the meager vegetables I had on hand. She was so thrilled that I liked her salad, I didn't have the heart to let her know that she had used all of the vegetables I had allotted for the week in this one salad. 

Dorie's Next-Day Beef Salad made me think of Caroline's feast because of the number of wonderful ingredients it includes: leftover beef or roast beef, scallions, olives, cornichons, grape tomatoes, bell pepper, green apple, capers, and some greens all mixed together in a creamy mustard mayonnaise dressing. 


Next-Day Beef Salad- simplelivingeating.com

I made this salad for myself for lunch, so I just whisked together 3 tablespoons of mayonnaise, with 1 tablespoon of coarse mustard, and a teaspoon of Dijon mustard. I eyeballed the ingredients... going heavy on things I like, such as apple and red pepper. I put just a few pickles and olives in because I didn't want to be overwhelmed by their salty strong flavors. 

The result was fabulous. The dressing is fantastic. I plan on using it for other salads. The ingredients were pleasant... bursts of flavor ranging from sweet to salty. I plan on bringing this salad to my pool club's ladies' picnic this summer. The leftover ingredients will be used in a stir-fry tonight... because I am still too frugal to put quite so many fresh ingredients into just one salad.




Note: As a member of French Friday's with Dorie I am not allowed to print the recipe. I invite you to take a look at this wonderful cookbook "Around My French Table" if you are interested in this or any other recipe I review. 

26 comments:

  1. THis story made me laugh because it is so similar to one I have...except for the macrobiotic diet. And the living on the upper west side. And working for a non-profit. But as a college student we had a friend visit who turned a week's worth of hamburger (we could only afford this) and our week's allotment of veggies into one huge lasagna for dinner. When we saw it we decided not to invite friends over as we had to eat the lasagna for dinner all week long. YOur salad is very beautiful Diane. I particularly like the overhead shot!

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    1. Practically identical story, not. But as an Italian-American I would not have mine eating lasagna for a week, but maybe not when I was a vegetarian. It would have been seitan (not the Prince of Darkness) in my fridge instead of hamburger.

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  2. Yeah, I remember those frugal days. Bill would be appalled that I'd spend my last pennies on new shoes then eat popcorn for the last few days of the month! Cute story about Caroline. And I'm glad you enjoyed this one, too :)

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    1. I remember eating popcorn for dinner too.

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  3. I love, love, love this story. You Life is full of wonderful and rich memories. Thank you for sharing them with us. As you might guess, we were just as poor but, with a baby, a husband in grad school and surviving on my salary, we had a plan that never wavered: tuna casserole, hamburgers, hotdogs, spareibs, minute steaks, chicken - in no particular order. On Sunday night it was popcorn, apples and Hershey Bars. Don't even ask how I came up with all this? Love your salad and I also liked the very pungent mustardy vinaigrette. Nice job.

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    1. Thanks Mary,
      We should share a post where we all write about our struggling times meals. Minute steaks.. haven't had those in year.. I still love those, hmmm. I wonder how they would taste on this salad?

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  4. Your salad looks wonderful. We enjoyed this, so simple, delicious, and a great way to use leftovers.

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  5. Oh, the good old days! I love salads from leftovers. so was happy to find a new one that I like. And I do promise to try this with apple the next time around.

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  6. Oh man. When I was married and the girls were babies we practically lived on ramen noodles and hamburger helper. It's what we could afford at the time. I used to live for meals at the parents house - my how things change :-)
    Your salad looks lovely.
    And to answer your question - no, I still have one to two feet of snow covering the lawn. It is melting at the edges though. Hope springs eternal.

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    1. I love these stories of what we all ate in the "lean years" we really need to write a piece about how far we have all come with eating.

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  7. My parents were macrobiotic for most of my childhood, and therefore, by default, so was I. To be honest, I still like brown rice better than white, and I'm one of the few people I know who will willingly eat tofu. But I've never felt the need to restrict myself as an adult.

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    1. I still love brown rice and sauted tofu, but it is a really restrictive diet, but healthier than these diets today that a filled with saturated fat. I had a lot of digestive problems so I was on it for 3 years until things cleared up.

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  8. college days were the best! I also appreciated moving up to after-college when we can purchase more groceries with more ease now but the days of making small things last for a week I think is a talent we all pick up in college! :)

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  9. When I was in university, I had one roommate who used part of our shared grocery budget to buy pizza pockets in bulk. I dutifully worked my way through them, but have never even wanted to look at one since.

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    1. That's how I feel about Kraft macaroni and cheese.

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  10. This salad was delish, wasn't it. I like how you can take the basic concept and make it your own.

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  11. Diane, that opera company administration thing was exactly what I wanted to do for a living! I ended up doing development and box office for a Bach group in Washington DC instead. My brown rice was toast. Toast all the time. My roommate teased me for it, but she ate the toast, too. :) Thankfully, my career path has moved on and I've (sadly, in some ways) changed coasts. Anyway, the salad looks great and I'm glad you liked it!

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    1. How strange that you wanted to work for an opera company... very narrow catagory of the arts. A Bach groups sounds interesting... probably terrible pay too. So tell Trevor you know more about "stuff on toast" then he ever will.

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  12. This is an absolutely great story. You are nicer than I am. It's very hard for me to let people use my ingredients (especially fresh vegetables!) unless I know what they're going to do with them ahead to time....I'm glad you enjoyed this salad. I love recipes like this one, that aren't really recipes.

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  13. Fantastic story! And the salad looks so delicious as well. We've been doing more salads lately, and the kids are finally eating them without complaint. Thanks for sharing on Weekend Bites still :)

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    1. Thats great to hear... my son still only eats salad occasionally.

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  14. Thank you for contributing to Motivation Monday!

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  15. Looks amazing! Thank you so much for linking up at Tasty Tuesday! Your recipe has been pinned to the Tasty Tuesday Pinterest board! Please join us again this week!

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  16. Hi Diane,
    Hope you and your family had a great Easter. I love the back story for your post, awesome and a great recipe. Thanks so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday and have a great week.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

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  17. Looks delicious thanks for sharing with Hearth and soul blog hop, pinning,

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