For a couple where one person loves food and the other just will eat…sometimes, we have a romance that involves food in the oddest ways. Perhaps not. Doesn’t everyone have a food story that also speaks of love?
One of the recipes Denise loves is my mock chicken salad. I make it with tofu. Once upon a time I used Yves Chickn for it, but that became unavailable. It started as a recipe either in my mother’s curried chicken salad (known as “Bird of Paradise Salad” ) and at a vegetarian restaurant (The Laughing Seed) in Asheville, NC restaurant where we landed on a mommy weekend early in our relationship.
We sat as vegetarians in a restaurant full of options just for us and couldn’t make a decision. Vegetarians usually have it easy in the south–if there is a vegetarian option, there will be only one. Denise decided on the Mock Chicken Salad and when it came I said “Oh! It is just like my mom’s–except she uses chicken.”
I then went home to find a vegetarian mock chicken salad, but decided to create it from how my mother made her chicken salad.
It makes me laugh when I see recipes like the following for Mock Chicken salad. (and isn’t the picture a winner?) I so wouldn’t think “Hey, I am out of chicken, how about I make chicken salad out of veal.” Note, it does also recommend pork which I sometimes have left over. On the other hand, the whole shaping into balls totally makes this a no go in this house–even if the walnut eaters and olive eaters were the same people.
Mock Chicken Salad
2 cups cold veal or pork cut fine
3/4 cup finely cut celery
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
2 tablespoons chopped olives
Mix meat, celery, nuts, and olives.
Add enough mayonnaise to moisten and shape in small balls. Arrange these balls on lettuce on individual salad plates. Garnish with olives and mayonnaise.
(Another recipe from January 1923, from a feature called “Winter Salads” in Modern Priscilla.)