A salad platter
|Usually raw vegetables, sauce or dressing|
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Salad is a popular, ready-to-eat dish made of diverse ingredients, usually served chilled or at a moderate temperature. Many people use the word "salad" to describe light, savory leafy vegetable dishes, most often served with a sauce or dressing, but the term may also refer to dishes made of ingredients such as fruits, grains, meats, seafood and sweets. Though many salads use raw ingredients, some use cooked ingredients; most salads use vegetables, though fruit salads also exist.
Most salads are served cold, although some, such as south German potato salad, are served warm. Some consider the warmth of a dish a factor that excludes it from the salad category. These people may call the warm mixture a casserole, a sandwich topping or more specifically, name it for the ingredients which comprise it, e.g. potatoes in a mayonnaise base cooked with bacon.
Salads may be served at any point during a meal, such as:
- Appetizer salads, light salads to stimulate the appetite as the first course of the meal.
- Side salads, to accompany the main course as a side dish.
- Main course salads, usually containing a portion of heartier fare, such as chicken breast or slices of beef.
- Palate-cleansing salads, to settle the stomach after the main course.
- Dessert salads, sweet versions often containing fruit, gelatin and/or whipped cream.
- 1 Etymology
- 2 History
- 3 Types of salads
- 4 Examples of salads
- 5 Dressings
- 6 Toppings and garnishes
- 7 Salad records
- 8 See also
- 9 References
- 10 Further reading
- 11 External links
The terminology "salad days", meaning a "time of youthful inexperience" (on notion of "green"), is first recorded by Shakespeare in 1606, while the use of salad bar first appeared in American English in 1976.
The Romans and ancient Greeks ate mixed greens and dressing. In his 1699 book, Acetaria: A Discourse on Sallets, John Evelyn attempted with little success to encourage his fellow Britons to eat fresh salad greens. Mary, Queen of Scots, ate boiled celery root over greens covered with creamy mustard dressing, truffles, chervil, and slices of hard-boiled eggs.
The United States popularized mixed greens salads in the late 19th century; other regions of the world adopted them throughout the second half of the 20th century. From Europe and the Americas to China, Japan, and Australia, salads are sold in supermarkets, at restaurants (restaurants will often have a "Salad Bar" laid out with salad-making ingredients, which the customers will use to put together their salad) and at fast food chains. In the US market, fast food chains such as McDonald's and KFC, that typically sell hamburgers, fries, and fried chicken, now also sell packaged salads.
Types of salads
The "green salad" or "garden salad" is most often composed of leafy vegetables such as lettuce varieties, spinach, or rocket (arugula). Due to their low caloric density, green salads are considered a common diet food. The salad leaves may be cut or torn into bite-sized fragments and tossed together (called a tossed salad), or may be placed in a predetermined arrangement (a composed salad).
Vegetables other than greens may be used in a salad. Common raw vegetables used in a salad include cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes, onions, spring onions, red onions, carrots, celery, and radishes. Other ingredients, such as mushrooms, avocado, olives, hard boiled egg, artichoke hearts, heart of palm, roasted red bell peppers, green beans, croutons, cheeses, meat (e.g. bacon, chicken), or seafood (e.g. tuna, shrimp), are sometimes added to salads.
A "bound" salad can be composed (arranged) or tossed (put in a bowl and mixed with a thick dressing). They are assembled with thick sauces such as mayonnaise. One portion of a true bound salad will hold its shape when placed on a plate with an ice-cream scoop. Examples of bound salad include tuna salad, pasta salad, chicken salad, egg salad, and potato salad.
Bound salads are often used as sandwich fillings. They are popular at picnics and barbecues, because they can be made ahead of time and refrigerated.
Main course salads
Main course salads (also known as "dinner salads" and commonly known as "entrée salads" in North America) may contain grilled or fried chicken pieces, seafood such as grilled or fried shrimp or a fish steak such as tuna, mahi-mahi, or salmon or sliced steak, such as sirloin or skirt. Caesar salad, Chef salad, Cobb salad, Greek salad, and Michigan salad are dinner salads.
Although tomatoes are considered fruits, and commonly included in salads, they are not normally an ingredient in Fruit Salad.
Dessert salads rarely include leafy greens and are often sweet. Common variants are made with gelatin or whipped cream; e.g. jello salad, pistachio salad, and ambrosia. Other forms of dessert salads include snickers salad, glorified rice, and cookie salad popular in parts of the Midwestern United States.
Examples of salads
The following is a list of additional salads:
- Bean salad
- Broccoli slaw
- Caesar salad
- Candle salad
- Caprese salad
- Chef salad
- Chicken salad
- Chinese chicken salad
- Congealed salad
- Cookie salad
- Crab Louie salad
- Çoban salatası (Turkish Salad)
- Cobb salad
- Egg salad
- Eggplant salad
- Fruit salad
- Gỏi ngó sen - a Vietnamese salad
- Greek salad
- Ham salad
- Israeli salad
- Macaroni salad
- Niçoise salad
- Pasta salad
- Potato salad
- Salad Olivier
- Seven-layer salad
- Shopska salad
- Somen salad
- Som tam
- Taco salad
- Thai salads
- Tuna salad
- Waldorf salad
- Watergate salad
Sauces for salads are often called "dressings". The concept of salad dressing varies across cultures.
In Western culture, there are three basic types of salad dressing:
- Creamy dressings, usually mayonnaise-based, but which may also contain yogurt, sour cream, buttermilk, milk, or crème fraîche
- Cooked dressings, which resemble creamy dressings, but are usually thickened by adding egg yolks and gently heating.
Vinaigrette // is a mixture (emulsion) of salad oil and vinegar, often flavored with herbs, spices, salt, pepper, sugar, and other ingredients. It is used most commonly as a salad dressing, but also as a sauce or marinade.
In North America, mayonnaise-based Ranch dressing is most popular, with vinaigrettes and Caesar-style dressing following close behind. Traditional dressings in France are vinaigrettes, typically mustard-based, while mayonnaise is predominant in eastern European countries and Russia. In Denmark, dressings are often based on crème fraîche. In southern Europe, salad is generally dressed by the diner with oil and vinegar.
The following are examples of common salad dressings:
- Blue cheese dressing
- Caesar dressing
- Extra virgin olive oil
- French dressing
- Ginger dressing
- Honey Dijon
- Italian dressing
- Louis dressing
- Ranch dressing
- Russian dressing
- Thousand Island dressing
- Wafu dressing
Toppings and garnishes
Popular salad garnishes are nuts, croutons, anchovies, bacon bits (real or imitation), garden beet, bell peppers, shredded carrots, diced celery, watercress, sliced cucumber, parsley, sliced mushrooms, sliced red onion, radish, french fries, sunflower seeds (shelled), real or artificial crab meat (surimi) and cherry tomatoes. Various cheeses, berries, seeds and other ingredients can also be added to green salads. Cheeses, in the form of cubes, crumbles, or grated, are often used, including blue cheese, Parmesan cheese, and feta cheese. Color considerations are sometimes addressed by using edible flowers, red radishes, carrots, various colors of peppers, and other colorful ingredients.
The moshav (agricultural village) of Sde Warburg, Israel, holds the Guinness World Record for the largest lettuce salad, weighing 10,260 kg. The event, held on 10 November 2007, was part of the 70th anniversary celebration of the founding of the moshav. The salad was sold to participants and onlookers alike for 10 NIS per bowl, raising 100,000 NIS (over $25,000) to benefit Aleh Negev, a rehabilitative village for young adults suffering from severe physical and cognitive disabilities. Major General (Res.) Doron Almog, Chairman of Aleh Negev was present to accept the donation and commended the residents, who had grown the lettuce and prepared the salad on the moshav. The volunteer effort to prepare the salad itself took all day and most of the residents, ranging from many of the original founders of the moshav to young children, participated.
- Harper, Douglas. "salad". Online Etymology Dictionary.
- Food Timeline's History of Salads
- Salad Recipe's The Story of Salad's Success
- Chef Talk's History of Salad
- Melissa Barlow, Stephanie Ashcraft. Things to Do with a Salad: One Hundred One Things to Do With a Salad. Gibbs Smith, 2006. ISBN 1-4236-0013-4. 128 pages, page 7.
- BBC Good Food
- Top Ten Most Popular Salad Dressing Flavors on The Food Channel®
- Aleh Negev
- Frances Barber Harris (1918), Florida Salads: a collection of dainty, wholesome salad recipes that will appeal to the most fastidious, Jacksonville, Fla: Jacksonville Printing Co., OCLC 509840
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