Everything About Salads

Topics: Lettuce, Leaf vegetables, Leaf vegetable Pages: 22 (4395 words) Published: December 12, 2010

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Salad is defined as - A dish of raw or cold cooked food usually dressed and seasoned, served as an appetizer or a side dish. The word “Salad” derives from the Roman word “Sal” meaning salt which is usually added to most vegetables eaten raw.


Green salads Composed

Green saladsSide Salads

Simple Salads: It consists of a basic ingredient either raw or cooked but always served cold with a dressing on a side. The basic ingredient can be a vegetable or meat or shellfish and the range is very varied like French beans, carrots, cauliflower, lentils, potatoes, ham, cold chicken, crab, prawns etc.

Compound Salad: They are more elaborate dishes comprising of various ingredients of contrasting but complimentary flavours, textures and colours. They can include exotic ingredients as well as simple ones. The accompanying dressing should also blend with the flavour of the ingredients.

Side Salads – They are made from fruits, vegetables, potatoes, grains, pastas, legumes and fruits.

They consist of green leafy raw vegetables which are used for preparing a salad. The greens that are selected will determine the character of the salad. Examples of salad greens are various varieties of lettuce, Endive, Chicory, Kale, Watercress, Purslane, Arugula, lamb‘s lettuce, spinach, sorrel.

Lettuce is synonymous with salads as they are predominantly made from crispy green lettuce leaves. Most varieties of lettuce exude small amounts of a white milky liquid when their leaves are broken. This “milk” gives lettuce its slightly bitter flavour, and its scientific name Lactuca sativa derived from the Latin word for milk.

Today’s lettuces and salad greens are divided into roughly 4 categories. By combining lettuces within one category or by selecting from among two or more categories we can create different green salads. Salad Greens are divided as –

Mild Greens
Spicy greens
Bitter Green
Prepared Mixes of Greens
Herbs & flowers

Mild lettuces can be grouped into 4 categories-
ICEBERG / HEADING – Crispheads have closely packed leaves and a very mild flavour. Crisphead or "iceberg" lettuce with dense, firm heads and crunchy leaves is the most important commercial type lettuce. Because lettuce is a cool-season crop, most iceberg lettuce is grown in the cool coastal valleys of California. BUTTERHEAD – Loose rosette of soft, thick leaves have a soft, delicate texture and mild flavour, includes Boston, Kentucky Limestone and Bibb lettuce variety. Bibb or Butterhead lettuce was developed by Kentuckian John J. Bibb and is often served at Kentucky Derby breakfasts, produces a loose, soft head. The inner leaves have an oily or buttery feel. Butterhead cultivars produce high-quality lettuce that matures slightly earlier than crisp-head cultivars but are less tolerant of warm weather. `Big Boston', `Bibb', and `Butter Crunch', an All-American Selection, are popular cultivars. Butterhead lettuce does best in Nebraska when started early indoors or in cold frames and later set in the garden as transplants. LOOSE LEAF – Open, deeply indented loose leaves have a delicate flavour and a moderately soft texture; includes red and green leaf lettuce, oak leaf, and Lola Rosa. Baby varieties are often included in special salad blends. ROMAINE / COS – this lettuce grows as a long cylindrical head, with the leaves joined to a core at its base. The outer leaves are heavily ribbed and sometimes savoyed (crinkled). Leaves closer to the centre have a milder, sweeter flavour than the outer leaves. The inner...
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