Salmagundi — A Most Unlikely Combination for Lunch

Salmagundi is a hodgepodge dish of all kinds of things — apparently from the French word ‘salmagondis‘.  It’s the only way I can describe what I had for lunch today.

I started by going through the refrigerator with these questions in mind:

  • what appeals to me today?
  • which produce needs to be cooked today before it goes bad?
  • what leftovers should be used soon?
  • based on my early selections, what else would go with this stuff?

Here’s what I found and how I prepared the items:

Salamagundi ingredients

I sautéed the first four ingredients in 2 Tbs. of olive oil, then added the mushrooms and tofu, followed by something I forgot to write on the list above — several spoonsful of cooked Rancho Gordo Vallarta beans with some of their liquid.  At this point I added salt, pepper and some pimenton, for depth of flavor.

I was nervous about putting any cooked beets into the dish, since they tend to turn everything within the nearest 1/4-mile a deep crimson color.  However, I took a chance, cubed a very large beet, and added it to the pan, along with the fava beans, and — a little later — the remaining 1/2 pint of a delicious farro and vegetable dish I made a few nights ago.

Finally, for savoriness I added a few pitted Ligurian olives and some chopped pickle that I have been enjoying the past few days, too.  The results were delightful, and I ate two full pasta bowls of this very unlikely combination.

grilled lemon-pepper tofu …and chopped pickle Salamagundi in bowl-2

What wine would you serve with this concoction?  Something equally arcane, of course.  In this instance it was a 2010 Argyros Atlantis Red from Santorini, 90% Mandilaria and 10% Mavrotragano grapes.

Atlantis red Argyros Atlantis red

Without a doubt no one will ever make this dish again (including me), but I do have a simple, four-step, more generic version of the recipe to offer you:

  • choose leftovers and must-use items from the refrigerator
  • prepare those needing precooking first
  • sautée everything together in stages in a large pan with olive oil and spices
  • serve with an obscure wine


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