What is a salad? Salads are quite possibly the perfect meal. A blend of fresh ingredients, can be sweet or savory, can be served hot, cold or a combination of both and can be as light or as hearty as needed.
There are salads for all seasons and from all cultures. There are as many types of salads as there are personalities. They can be served at any meal: as appetizers, side dishes, main dishes, palate cleansing and desserts, and served with each and every type of meals and appropriate at any time of day.
The Origin of Salads
The origins of the salad according to food historians dates back to the ancient Romans and Greeks who enjoyed mixed greens with a dressing typically made up of salt, oil and vinegar or brine. As time progressed, salads became more complicated and varied from time of the day and where they were made. During the Renaissance time, the dinner salad as we know it was very popular. Layered salads were popular in the 18th century, that are today known as the Chef’s Salad. The name ‘salad’ was derived by the ingredients and from the French word salade, with the same meaning from the Latin word Salata meaning salty from sal meaning ‘salt’ and in the 14th century the word appeared as ‘salad’ or sallet.
Dressing it Right
When it comes to dressing that salad, particularly a lettuce-leaf one, popular with those watching their weight or calorie counting, remember that you actually NEED the fat of the dressing in order to properly digest and get the nutrition out of the vegetables, so kick don’t skimp! No need to slather on heavy, creamy dressings. Simply enhance the flavor with the perfect salad dressing, a combination of nothing more than olive oil, vinegar and sea salt (or olive oil, mustard, lemon juice and sea salt for something with a little more zip!). Add enough to coat, toss to cover and voila!
Whatever meal, which ever salad you prefer, simply enjoy this ancient dish that has endured the ages!