All about Salads
Hardly anyone can say no to a good salad, whether basic or sophisticated. Salads are a great way to get an abundance of fibers, vitamins and greens into your system. There are endless types and flavor combinations. Salads are not limited to only greens such as lettuce or Roca; fruits, grains, nuts, grilled steak or chicken as well as eggs have become essential ingredients in salads.
Where does the word salad come from?
The basis for the word salad comes from ‘sal’, meaning salt. This was chosen because in ancient times, salt was often an ingredient in the dressing. Another explanation is that Salad is, “derived from salata, ‘salted things’ such as the raw vegetables in classical times with a dressing of oil, vinegar or salt. The word turns up in Old French as salade and then in late 14th century English as salad or sallet.”
Famous Salads & How they got their names
Caesar Salad – Romaine, croutons & dressing – Named after Italian American Caesar Cardini, circa 1927 in the U.S.
Waldorf Salad –Apples, walnuts & blue cheese – created in 1896 at the Waldorf Astoria, New York by a maitre d’hôtel.
Cobb Salad –Greens, bacon, boiled egg, avocado – named after Ronald Howard Cobb, Restaurant Manager, 1930’s, Hollywood.
Greek Salad – Horiatiki Salata in Greek, most important 3 ingredients: original feta, tomatoes & olive oil.
Coleslaw Salad – Originating from the Dutch term koolsla meaning cabbage salad, usually combines red & white cabbage with carrot and mayo.
Fattoush/Tabboula: the tangy famous Lebanese duo. Tabboula is derived from tabel, which is to season and it’s a combination of bulgur, parsley, onion, tomatoes and lemon juice. Fattoush on the other hand, gets its name from crushed bread fatt in Old Arabic – hence a salad fatta, or a toasted bread salad of veggies.
Tips on making a good salad & what to avoid:
- Use your hands to chop leaves, as using a knife sometimes makes the leaves lose their shape & freshness.
- Always pat greens dry with a kitchen towel, so they don’t wilt when you put the dressing on before serving.
- To make perfectly balanced vinaigrette, use three parts oil to one part vinegar and use a jar with a lid to get the best consistency.
- Get creative: add nuts, fruit, cheese, grilled proteins (beef, shrimp, chicken) to make a balanced meal out of it.
- Never add dressing right after making a salad, only right before serving. Adding the dressing beforehand makes all the veggies wilt (become soft and limp) by making them release their water.
- When using tomatoes in the salad, remove pulp if it will be for garnish and keep if it will be within salad itself.
Caprese Salad for Two
A simple Italian delicacy.
– 2 Ripe tomatoes
– 1 pack buffalo mozzarella whole
– Basil leaves – washed and dried
For the Vinaigrette/Dressing:
– 2 tablespoons olive oil
– 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
– Salt & pepper to taste
– Slice tomatoes evenly sidewise, and mozzarella chunk into round slices.
– Either layer side wise or vertically your tomatoes & mozzarella, with basil leaf in between.
– Combine 2 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar in a bowl and whisk well.
– Drizzle over salad and season with salt and pepper and garnish with basil leaves on top.