Years ago, I used to do a little freelance writing for magazines. This article about salads I wrote for Womens Circle Home Cooking Magazine in 1981. It still holds true today!
A New Day for Salads
Have you noticed what a change the last few years have seen in salads? Not too long ago they were strictly summer fare. Now they are given an honored place at the table everyday.
Reflecting the moods of a meal, a salad can be as sprightly as a crisp bowl of mixed greens, as cool as a congealed aspic, or as bright as a combination of fruits. Salads can be light, hearty, tangy or sweet, hot or cold, – and they’re all good.
Salads add health and not inches in an age where weight is becoming a problem. Nutritionally, salad greens, are low in calories and relatively high in vitamins C and A, iron and calcium. Chilled leafy vegetables make a health-brimming green salad neither your husband nor men guests will shun.
Raw cucumbers, carrots, and radishes are good vegetable additions to green salads, but so are a lot of other raw vegetables. As for cooked vegetables, nearly any vegetable that can be served cold can be tossed into a green salad.
Molded salads are great travelers. They’re easy to carry and you can make them the day before or early in the morning to serve in the evening.
Fruit salads are less a matter of specific recipes than of improvisation. Here is the place to let your imagination run wild, mixing and matching flavors, combining tints and textures, tasting as you go. These salads can be presented as platter salads and grouped on a platter rather than tossed.
A variety of seasonings should be kept on hand to add interest to every type of salad. Essential are celery salt, onion salt, minced onion and onion juice.
Good salad dressings are a must! Bottled dressings are convenient, but it takes so little time to create your own dressing. To make good dressings you need certain staples, oil and vinegar go in almost all dressings. Olive oil is used widely, but a good vegetable oil has more food value. Regular table salt is fine for dressings. Freshly ground black pepper is the best choice. Use dried or fresh herbs sparingly.
A light French dressing – oil, vinegar or lemon juice and seasonings – is appropriate on any salad. Mayonnaise, whipped or sour cream, and cooked dressings are all excellent and can be used in any way your taste dictates. Good saladmakers depend on a variety of dressings to provide distinction and superior flavors to their salads.
Some good rules to remember when serving salads are: (a) with a hearty meal serve a light salad, (b) fish goes best with a tart salad, (c) for a main course a hearty or hot salad (d) fruit salads serve as desserts, appetizers, or meat accompaniments.
Individual first course salads should be in the center of each place, for formal serving on a large plate. Main course salads should be placed at left of dinner place. Place your salads on the table just before seating guests. A platter or bowl of mixed greens may be passed. You may pass your dressing if none has already been added to the salad. A salad fork is not always necessary. A dinner salad may be eaten with the same fork as the main course.
If you want a perfect gift from your kitchen and a welcomed addition to any meal, why not try a salad!