Salad Francillon

Course : French
Serves: 6
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6 medium potatoes
2 cups consomme
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 cup cooked and shelled small mussels
1/4 teaspoon tarragon leaves -- fresh or dried
2 tablespoons wine vinegar
1/2 cup st-class Bordeaux sauternes
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
1 cup champagne
4 large truffles

Preparation / Directions:

In saucepan, combine potatoes, consommé, and 1 teaspoon salt. Bring to boil. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes, or until potatoes are well cooked. Drain. While still warm, peel potatoes and slice them. Place in salad bowl. Add mussels. In mixing bowl, combine remaining salt, pepper, tarragon, vinegar, wine, oil, and parsley. Pour over potatoes and mussels. Toss gently but thoroughly. Meanwhile, in small saucepan, combine champagne and truffles. Bring to boil. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Drain. Cut truffles into slices and arrange on top of salad, covering the entire top with truffle slices. Let cool for 2 hours. (Do not put in refrigerator.) Comments: It is only a salad, but how delicious! It became popular in France (at least as popular as such an expensive dish can be) by the end of the nineteenth century. The reason for its fame is that it was described in a play "Francillon" by Alexander Dumas Fils, the author of "La Dame aux Camelias" ("Camille"). It is not commonly made in France, but is made on special occasions -- and it is a rare treat. Recipe Source: THE ART OF FRENCH COOKING by Fernande Garvin

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