|The word "salad" comes from the French "salade" of the same meaning, which in turn is from the Latin "salate", salty, from "sal", salt.|
|Vinaigrette keeps for weeks so make large quantities and store in the fridge.||
|Fruit & Vegetable|
|Quick to prepare, healthy, nutritious and delicious - what other meal takes so little effort for such great reward? Once relegated to side-dish status, the humble salad is now recognised as a meal on its own. And rightly so, for fresh salad vegetables combine well with any number of other ingredients for an almost endless range of delicious meals.|
There are hundreds of types of lettuce in the world, but they all belong in one of four main groups: butterhead (the most tender textured lettuces, like Bibb or Boston); crispheads (such as iceberg lettuce, known for its juicy, crisp mild taste); cos lettuces (juicy yet coarse-textured varieties like Romaine) and looseleaf lettuces which are almost any lettuce that doesn't grow in a head, such as red leaf or oak leaf.
In recent years, home cooks and diners have expanded their culinary horizons way beyond the humble iceberg lettuce and have emphatically embraced a whole host of exciting and tasty salad options such as arugula, frisée and mache, which have in turn added a whole new element to salads.
Of course, there's more to a great salad than simply lettuce. The beauty of salad lettuce is the way that they combine so beautifully with so many other ingredients. Virtually any fruit or vegetable can be incorporated into a salad, and so can a host of fresh herbs. Apples are key to a Waldorf salad, oranges are found in many Mediterranean salads, and grapes are a tasty addition too. Beans - black, red and green - are a common ingredient in many substantial salads, as are mushrooms, celery, carrots, potatoes tomatoes. Herbs such as chives, basil and coriander all add zing and zest to a simple plate of lettuce.
Many meats have their role to play too - where would a salad nicoise be without tuna fish? Beef is an important ingredient in a chef's salad, as are ham and chicken. And then there are the toppings. All kinds of ingredients add a special finishing touch when lightly sprinkled on top of a salad - from cheese (parmesan particularly) and nuts to crunchy croutons.
|Salad vegetables have to handled with special care if they are to retain their precious vitamins. A basic rule is to wash first and cut later. Never leave your greens in water for too long and never in warm water - the water-soluble vitamins and minerals will wash away!|
1. Clean and rinse thoroughly in a large roomy bowl.
2. Carefully dry the leaves - water will dilute your dressing and it won't adhere to the leaves properly either if they are wet. If you don't have a special salad spinner, simply place the cloths in a clean tea towel and spin them dry in the cloth.
3. Tear rather than cut salad leaves as steel will make the leaves brown later.
4. Herbs should be rinsed under cold water and patted dry with paper towels. Use a sharp knife, mezzaluna or scissors to cut.