Recipes from the Golden Age of Cinema: Peggy Lee's Jade Salad

Welcome to a new series in my which I attempt to recreate Classic Film Star's recipes. Even if it kills me. From Rock Hudson to Audrey Hepburn, let's try out some of their recipes together!

This should be exciting considering I pretty much don't know what I am doing... 

My first foray into this exciting world of cooking is...

You may know this particular songstress' work if you have ever found yourself humming the tune from "Lady and the Tramp" where Trixie, the sexpot pound dog croons... "What a dog... what... a... DOG!" She also voiced the Siamese Cats, with her voice dubbed over itself to give the double vocals effect of Si and Am, the mischievous felines. 

Go ahead. Turn some of her music on (do yourself a favor and make it her Black Coffee album) and get ready because here we go... 

Peggy Lee's Jade Salad Recipe

2 heads romaine lettuce
2 bunches green onions
1 1/3 cups olive oil
2/3 cup red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup sliced almonds

First, wash and cut the lettuce into julienne strips, which is basically a fancy term for short, thin strips... think something like shredded lettuce. 

Peggy Lee's recipe calls for two bunches of green onion, which got me thinking... what does a bunch of green onion mean anyway? It turns out there are 12 onions in a bunch. Which means that two bunches is 24 onions. I don't know about you but that's a LOT of onions. I cut this in half but if you love onions more power to you! 

Slice the onions and mix with oil (I also reduced the oil because I felt this was a bit much), vinegar, mustard, garlic powder, pepper, sugar, sesame seeds and Parmesan cheese. Pour the mixture over the lettuce and toss. Toss the almonds over the top. Voila! Peggy Lee's Jade Salad! 

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So who created our star recipe? None other than the iconic...

Dining with a Bombshell Crooner

It seems that Peggy Lee used to invite guests over to dine in her peach-colored kitchen, where she would serve rolls alongside her signature salad. And if crumbs got on her lips, she would disappear into the bathroom and return, lips back in place, in true bombshell style. 

Peggy Lee and Danny Thomas joking around on the piano. 

Peggy Lee and Danny Thomas joking around on the piano. 

I thought the dressing was a little heavy on the oil, but in general it had a nice Asian-inspired flavor with the sesame seeds. I actually chose to eat it alongside some potstickers and rice and that was very tasty. 

Happy eating! 

ready to try more recipes from the golden age of hollywood? read on: