Next-Day Beef Salad #French Fridays with Dorie

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. 

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. 

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.