Reste de poisson en méli-mélo.

Reste de poisson en méli-mélo.

rest duh pwaa-SAW ah may-LEE-may-LO. Click below to hear this pronounced!  

Leftover fish in a jumble.

Hmm, doesn’t that sound appetizing! But hold on. I’m going to give you a nice French recipe that will be perfect for a hot summer evening’s supper, and it’s really easy.

But first: en méli-mélo means in a jumble. It comes from le mélange (may-LAHZH), mixture. So the recipe is for something tossed together in a mixture.

Un reste has nothing to do with resting. It’s a portion of leftovers–what remains after you have finished dinner, for instance.

Des dés really does mean dice. When you are dicing something, you cut it to the approximate size of dice.

And relevé means seasoned or spiced or flavored. Literally, heightened.

So here’s your recipe. Proportions don’t matter!

Reste de poisson en méli-mélo

Coupez un reste de poisson en lamelles fines. Mêlez-y des cornichons, olives, champignons crus, pommes de terre, betteraves, le tout en petits dés. Assaisonnez d’une vinaigrette bien relevée. Décorez de tranches d’oeufs durs.

That’s it! Oh, you want it in English too? Okay, here you go. I’m going to call it

Méli-mélo Fish Salad (doesn’t that sound better?)

Cut leftover fish into thin strips. Mix in cornichons [tiny French pickles; you can buy them in a jar in the condiment aisle], olives, raw mushrooms, potatoes [cooked, of course; you could use canned, in a pinch], beets [again, cooked or canned], everything diced small. Flavor with a well-seasoned vinaigrette. Decorate with slices of hard-boiled eggs.

Traditional proportions for a vinaigrette in French cuisine are 1 part vinegar to 3 parts olive oil. Add salt, freshly-ground pepper, and perhaps a dab of Dijon mustard. Chop your herbs of choice–I am partial to tarragon (de l’estragon) or basil (du basilic) in vinaigrette–and mix them in. For this salad, you could even add a pinch of something spicy.

(This recipe is from L’Encyclopédie culinaire du XXe siècle, a compilation of recipes primarily from the magazine Marie-France, and published by Culture, Arts et Loisirs, Paris, 1968.)

Bon appétit!

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