April 13, 2010

Tips, Tidbits & Tricks: A Great Salad

Farmers' Markets are popping up again with fresh asparagus, peas, and other spring vegetables. Spring is the perfect time for lighter fare, like fresh salads with ingredients from your local produce stand. Perfect for dining al fresco!

- The word “salad” comes from the Latin sal (salt). The word first appeared in English as “salad” or “sallet” in the 14th century.


- The record for the largest lettuce salad belongs to the settlement of Sde Warburg, Israel. The salad weighed 10,260 kg.

- In Western culture, there are three basic types of dressing: vinaigrette, creamy dressing (think ranch), and cooked dressings (I have no idea what cooked dressings are, but Wikipedia says that they “resemble creamy dressings, but are usually thickened by adding egg yolks and gently heating”).

- In Asia, sesame oil, fish sauce, and soy sauce are common ingredients in salad dressings.


- Don’t add vinaigrette to salad until serving. Oil penetrates the surface of vegetables and drives out air, and with it the veggies’ bright color.

- Adding beans is a great way to add texture and protein. Other great add-ins include dried fruit, toasted nuts, and leftover roasted veggies.

- Want tomatoes in your salad, but they aren’t quite ripe yet? Put them in a paper bag or plastic container – tomatoes generate ethylene, which causes ripening. Conversely, if you want ripe tomatoes to last longer, put them in a well-ventilated place so ethylene can disperse.

[World Community Cookbook]

- Drink water instead of wine with salad. The acid in most dressings will destroy the flavor of wine. Note: my solution to this is to drink wine while preparing the salad.

- Should you wash prewashed salad greens? The testers at America’s Test Kitchen agree with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration: there’s no need. Prewashed produce is likely to have fewer bacteria (or none at all) than your kitchen sink or counter, and washing the greens may actually introduce bacteria.

- Use a sippy cup to make dressings. Pour ingredients into cup, secure lid, shake vigorously (while covering the spout, of course!) and pour. The small spout will keep you from overdressing your greens.

[Green baby guide.com]

Salad recipes:
Blue Cheese and Pear Salad with Port Vinaigrette
Spinach Strawberry Salad with Sesame Seed Dressing
Caesar Salad with Hard-Cooked Eggs
Greek-Italian Chopped Salad

What's your favorite salad?

1 comment:

  1. Caesar. Also, I saw a recipe the other day for baked bagel croutons, which seems like such a genius idea and so simple. Why have I never thought of that?