One of America’s Favorites – the Salad

September 10, 2012 at 9:23 AM | Posted in cooking, Food, salad | 3 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Salads are a category of dishes whose prototype is raw vegetables served with a sauce or dressing including oil and an acid as a light savory dish with a minimum of three ingredients. Salads also include a variety of related dishes, including ones with cold cooked vegetables, including grains and pasta; ones which add cold meat or seafood; sweet dishes made of cut-up fruit; and even warm dishes. Though the prototypical salad is light, a dinner salad can constitute a complete meal.

Green salads include leaf lettuce and leafy vegetables with a sauce or dressing. Most salads are served cold, although some, such as south German potato salad, are served warm.

Salads are generally served with a dressing, as well as various garnishes such as nuts or croutons, and sometimes with the addition of meat, fish, pasta, cheese, eggs, or whole grains.

Salads may be served at any point during a meal, such as:

Appetizer salads, light salads to stimulate the appetite as the first course of the meal.
Side salads, to accompany the main course as a side dish.
Main course salads, usually containing a portion of protein, such as chicken breast or slices of beef.
Palate-cleansing salads, to settle the stomach after the main course.
Dessert salads, sweet versions usually containing fruit, gelatin or whipped cream.

The word “salad” comes from the French salade of the same meaning, from the Latin salata (salty), from sal (salt). In English, the word first appears as “salad” or “sallet” in the 14th century.

Salt is associated with salad because vegetables were seasoned with brine or salty oil-and-vinegar dressings during Roman times.

The terminology “salad days”, meaning a “time of youthful inexperience” (on notion of “green”), is first recorded by Shakespeare in 1606, while the use of salad bar first appeared in American English in 1976.

The term “salad” is commonly mistaken as the term for prepared lettuce.

Food historians say the Romans and ancient Greeks ate mixed greens and dressing. In his 1699 book, Acetaria: A Discourse on Sallets, John Evelyn attempted with little success to encourage his fellow Britons to eat fresh salad greens. Royalty dabbled in salads: Mary, Queen of Scots, ate boiled celery root over salad covered with creamy mustard dressing, truffles, chervil, and slices of hard-boiled eggs.

The United Statespopularized salads in the late 19th century and other regions of the world adopted them throughout the second half of the 20th century. From Europe and the Americas to China, Japan, and Australia, premade salads are sold in supermarkets, at

American-style potato salad with egg and mayonnaise

restaurants (restaurants will often have a “Salad Bar” laid out with salad-making ingredients, which the customers will use to put together their salad) and at fast food chains. In the US market, fast food chains such as McDonald’s and KFC, that typically sold hamburgers, fries, and fried chicken, now also sell packaged salads to appeal to the health-conscious customers.

Types of salads

Green Salad

The “green salad” or “garden salad” is most often composed of leafy vegetables such as lettuce varieties, spinach, or rocket (arugula). Due to their low caloric density, green salads are a common diet food. The salad leaves may be cut or torn into bite-sized fragments and tossed together (called a tossed salad), or may be placed in a predetermined arrangement (a composed salad).

Vegetable salad

Vegetables other than greens may be used in a salad. Common raw vegetables used in a salad include cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes, mushrooms, onions, spring onions, red onions, carrots, celery, and radishes. Other ingredients, such as avocado, olives, hard boiled egg, artichoke hearts, heart of palm, roasted red bell peppers, green beans, croutons, cheeses, meat (e.g. bacon, chicken), or seafood (e.g. tuna, shrimp), are sometimes added to salads.

Bound salad

A “bound” salad can be composed (arranged) or tossed (put in a bowl and mixed with a thick dressing). They are assembled with thick sauces such as mayonnaise. One portion of a true bound salad will hold its shape when placed on a plate with an ice-cream scoop. Examples of bound salad include tuna salad, pasta salad, chicken salad, egg salad, and potato salad.

Bound salads are often used as sandwich fillings. They are also popular at picnics and barbecues, because they can be made ahead of time and refrigerated.

Main course salads

Main course salads (also known as “dinner salads” and commonly known as “entrée salads” in North America) may contain grilled or fried chicken pieces, seafood such as grilled or fried shrimp or a fish steak such as tuna, mahi-mahi, or salmon. Sliced steak, such as sirloin or skirt, can be placed upon the salad. Caesar salad, Chef salad, Cobb salad, Greek salad, and Michigan salad are types of dinner salad.

Fruit salads

Fruit salads are made of fruit, and include the fruit cocktail that can be made fresh or from canned fruit.

Dessert salads

Dessert salads rarely include leafy greens and are often sweet. Common variants are made with gelatin or whipped cream; e.g. jello salad, pistachio salad, and ambrosia. Other forms of dessert salads include snickers salad, glorified rice, and cookie salad popular in parts of the Midwestern United States.

Dressings

Sauces for salads are often called “dressings”. The concept of salad dressing varies across cultures.

In Western culture, there are three basic types of salad dressing:

Vinaigrette
Creamy dressings, usually mayonnaise-based, but which may also contain yogurt, sour cream, buttermilk, milk, or crème fraiche
Cooked dressings, which resemble creamy dressings, but are usually thickened by adding egg yolks and gently heating.

Vinaigrette /vɪnəˈɡrɛt/ is a mixture (emulsion) of salad oil and vinegar, often flavored with herbs, spices, salt, pepper, sugar, and other ingredients. It is used most commonly as a salad dressing, but also as a sauce or marinade.

In North America, mayonnaise-based Ranch dressing is most popular, with vinaigrettes and Caesar-style dressing following close behind. Traditional dressings in France are vinaigrettes, typically mustard-based, while mayonnaise is predominant in eastern European countries and Russia. In Denmark, dressings are often based on crème fraîche. In southern Europe, salad is generally dressed by the diner with oil and vinegar.

In Asia, it is common to add sesame oil, fish sauce, citrus juice, or soy sauce to salad dressings.

3 Comments »

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

  1. […] One of America’s Favorites – the Salad (beatcancer2010.wordpress.com) […]

  2. […] One of America’s Favorites – the Salad (beatcancer2010.wordpress.com) […]

  3. […] One of America’s Favorites – the Salad […]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Blog at WordPress.com.
Entries and comments feeds.

Cashews & Quinoa

Dietitian Approved Vegan Recipes

healthienut - Easy to follow plant-based recipes

A guide to help you become healthier and happier

Cory Cooks

Unprofessional Cook | Professional Eater

ginger & chorizo

Macau | London | Berlin

Daily Vegan Meal

Plant-Based Recipes | For Health | For Environment | For Animals

Ellis Earthly Eats

Plant-Based Eating

The Friendly Cookie

LIVE FRIENDLY - EAT FRIENDLY

The Domestic Man

Gluten-free recipes, inspired by traditional & international cuisines. New recipes every Tuesday.

Live the Live ™

A rock jock’s adventures in food, travel and high-octane spirits.

deepfriedhoney

Simple, delicious recipes that probably remind you of your grandma's house if you're from the South.

Emily's Wholesome Kitchen

Real Food + Healthy Living

Aims Her Way

Aims To Cook, Recipes, Home Baker

Word To Your Mother

Not Just Another Mom Blog

fatFIRE Girl

Retired @ 39. Travel • Keto • Finance

24Bite™ Recipes

Because Kids Want To Cook Too

Fab Foodie Swede

Eat, Drink, Travel and Enjoy! Repeat!

Clean Eating All-Access

Just another WordPress site

%d bloggers like this: