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Julia Child’s Salade Composée

August 7, 2017

By  Kath Dedon


Too hot to cook. That was last week in Seattle. Too hot and smoky for a lot of outdoor activities. We were, and still are, covered in smoke that is being blown south from the 100+ wildfires burning in British Columbia. We were under a burn ban last week that included a ban on charcoal fires.

The air quality improved a bit over the weekend so the burn ban was lifted. We still can’t see the mountains because of the haze, but it did cool off last night.

Last week we had easy hot weather meals like Dilled Shrimp Salad, one of my favorites. I also tried a new recipe – Julia Child’s Salade Composée (Main-course Combination Salad). It was a great meal for a hot summer night! If you already have hard-boiled eggs on hand, which we did, there is absolutely nothing to cook.

I found the recipe in Julia’s cookbook based on her first public television series, The French Chef. The French Chef Cookbook has all of her recipes from that series. She describes the salad as “a handsomely arranged combination salad” for a “spur-of-the-moment meal”.

Julia writes the recipe in one simple paragraph, giving directions on how to put it together. She doesn’t give amounts for the ingredients; you can adjust it depending on how many people you are serving. She arranges it all on one large serving dish to be brought to the table.

Since I was cooking for two, I decided to arrange the salad on two dinner plates. Bob and I each got our own Salade Composée.

When I made this last week it was too hot to turn on my bright lights and get out my camera to take photos. I just snapped a few photos with my iPhone because I thought I might want to share it.

Last week it was TOO HOT to edit photos and write a blog post. This morning it has cooled off enough that I am eager to share this recipe. Salade Composée is definitely a keeper and I’ll be pinning it to my Hot Summer Nights board on Pinterest. 😉

I hope you’ll enjoy this Salade Composée as much as Bob and I did. I love the combination of all of the great flavors. It’s a perfect one to remember when it’s too hot to cook!

P.S. Please join me in thinking good thoughts for our neighbors in BC – for those whose lives are being impacted by the fires (many have had to be evacuated from their homes) and for the brave firefighters (some from as far away as Mexico) who are working so hard to contain the fires.


Julia Child's Salade Composee



Salade Composée (Main-Course Combination Salad)

Adapted from Julia Child’s recipe in The French Chef Cookbook


(print the recipe)


Serves 2


This recipe is easily adaptable to suit your needs. Increase the ingredients to serve more people. Substitute another kind of fish or chicken for the tuna.

Vinaigrette (the recipe follows the salad recipe)

1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans (I used 50% less sodium.)

1 cup raw zucchini, sliced

¾ cup raw mushrooms, sliced

Mixed salad greens (about 3 cups)

1 hard-cooked egg, quartered

10 grape (or cherry) tomatoes, cut in half

12 black olives (I used seedless Kalamata)

4 – 6 anchovy fillets

1 can of good-quality tuna

Chopped parsley (Optional garnish)


  1. If you don’t have a hard-cooked egg, get that going first. I highly recommend this method.
  2. Make the Vinaigrette (recipe below)
  3. Drain and rinse the beans, put them in a bowl and stir 2 tablespoons of the vinaigrette into them.
  4. Put the mushrooms in another bowl and add 1 tablespoon of the vinaigrette.
  5. Put the zucchini in a third bowl and add 1 tablespoon of the vinaigrette.
  6. Allow the beans, mushrooms, and zucchini to marinate for 20 – 30 minutes.


Vegetables marinating

marinating in vinaigrette


7. Toss the greens with about 2 tablespoons of the vinaigrette.

8. Divide the salad greens between two dinner plates.

9. Divide about 1 cup of the marinated beans between the two plates (1/2 cup each). You will have left-over beans for the next day.

10. Arrange the rest of the salad ingredients around the beans. Pour a bit more vinaigrette over the salad (especially the ingredients that had not been marinated) and sprinkle with parsley if desired.


Julia Child’s Vinaigrette


2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

1/8 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon Dijon mustard

6 tablespoons best-quality olive oil

A few grinds of pepper


Put all of the vinaigrette ingredients in a jar and shake vigorously to combine.




Julia Child's Salade Composee - Copy


This is our view of the Olympic Mountains on a clear January day (1-4-17)

View of the Olympic Mountains 1-4-2017


The same view last week. There were no clouds. It was all smoke.


Smoke 8-2-17



Smoke 8-5-2017



Smoke 8-6-2017 - Copy


Forecast last Thursday (8-3-2017): SMOKE

(The little suns imply that the forecast was for sunny skies. It’s true that there were no clouds, but it wasn’t clear and sunny. It was smoky. 😦 )

Forecast Smoke 8-3-17

2 Comments leave one →
  1. August 9, 2017 1:35 am

    Kath, that’s a lovely looking “Hot Summer Nights” salad. I thinking I’ll make it my “Cool Summers Lunch” today.
    Hope your mountains come out soon!

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