One of the first cookbooks I owned was a book on vegetarian cooking, which included a recipe for French Vegetable Salad–a mixture of chopped vegetables dressed in mustard vinaigrette. I thought of that salad last weekend when I was hankering for something crunchy and vinegary to accompany a variety of grilled fish and meats.
Salade Macédoine, or Macédoine de legumes, is made with a mixture of diced vegetables. The name allegedly refers to the diverse ethnic groups that lived in Macedonia way back when. It’s an invitation for the adventurous cook to create a beautiful palette of vegetables. When I made it a few days ago I used both fresh and frozen vegs and added canned beans. Instead of mustard vinaigrette or the traditional mayonnaise dressing I used the slightly sweet and sour oil and vinegar dressing from my mother’s three-bean salad. For me, Salade Macédoine is a grownup version of that staple of childhood picnics.
The end result was perfect—bright to the eye and on the taste buds, delicious as a side dish but also wonderful as a light meal with eggs mimosa or a topping of grilled scallops, Monday’s.
Macédoine de légumes
This is a basic Macédoine recipe, but made with a vinegar-based dressing rather than mayonnaise. The vegetables are raw, but a traditional Macédoine can be made with steamed vegetables, too. It is easy to prepare, although dicing the vegetables will take some time. The trick is to cut the vegetables into approximately equal sizes, about one-half inch dice. These are the ingredients and proportions I used, but you can devise your own combination, chacun a son goût.
- 2 carrots, cut into ¼” dice
- 2 stalks celery, cut into ½” dice
- corn (I used frozen, briefly cooked in the microwave), about 1 ½ cups
- Fava beans (also frozen, peeled, uncooked) I used ½ cup.
- 1 red bell pepper, cut into ½” dice
- 1 green bell pepper, cut into ½” dice
- 1 small zucchini, cut into ¼” dice
- 2-3 scallions, whites and greens cut into ¼” pieces
- 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 1 can pink or red beans, rinsed and drained
- ½ C. vinegar—red wine or cider
- ¼ C. oil—a plain vegetable or light olive oil—not EVOO
- 1 t. sugar
- Salt and pepper
- Dice the vegetables as instructed and place all but the favas in a large mixing bowl.
- Add the chickpeas and red or pink beans. Stir to combine.
- Pour the vinegar into a small mixing bowl. Add the sugar and stir until sugar is dissolved. Add the oil and whisk until combined. Add a few pinches of salt and freshly ground pepper. Stir again.
- Gently fold the vinegar mixture into the vegetables. Add the fava beans. Stir just until favas are integrated into the mix. Chill for a few hours to let flavors develop. Serve slightly chilled.