Woman’s Home Companion Cook Book – Part 11

Woman’s Home Companion Cook Book – Part 11

The chapter on Salads and Salad Dressings starts:

“Once the phrase “salad days” stood for youth.  Perhaps it still does.  For, in an era when salads are more popular than ever before, people have discovered that they mean slim waistlines, fresh complexions, a youthful zest for living and a youthful point of view.

No longer a mere dietary relief from the roast, salads now often appear as the main course.  They may mark the beginning of the meal or, doubling for dessert, its end.  The main thing is that, to please both dietitians and public taste, the salad bowl with its crisp greens has won a place on the American table at lunch, supper and dinner.

The secret of a successful salad is thorough crisping and chilling of all ingredients.  Salad greens should be thoroughly dried; fruits and vegetables well drained; meat, fish and cheese cut into bite-size pieces of uniform shape.  If you like onion or garlic you will add a touch of it, grated or sliced, to any except fruit salad.

Eye -appeal is important.  A colorless salad can be improved by a garnish of crisp radish roses, celery curls, carrot straws or curls, olives, pickle fans or parsley.  An orderly arrangement of the ingredients also improves the looks of a salad.

The Main-Course Salad: A salad used as the main course of a meal should contain some protein-rich foods such as chicken, meat, fish or cheese, and vegetables either raw or cooked.  for best results marinate meat or vegetables separately in a tart French dressing and combine them just before serving.  Mayonnaise or cooked dressings give added food value and body to salads of this kind.

The Mixed Green Salad:  A green salad served before, after or with a hearty main course should be light and tangy, the servings small, the dressing tart.  many salad greens are available – several kinds of lettuce, chicory, escarole, endive, tender young spinach and dandelion  leaves, water cress, sorrel and Chinese or celery cabbage.  Vary the greens and prepare them any way you wish – shred the leaves, tear them into bite-size pieces or serve them whole.

The green salad is a good place to get in the raw vegetables so strongly recommended by nutritionists.  With the greens mix sliced radishes, onions, cucumbers or tomatoes or shredded carrots or cabbage; and from time to time use something more unusual, such as thinly sliced cauliflower or broccoli flowerets, thinly sliced raw beets or shredded or julienne turnips.

The Salad Bowl:  Many mixtures are adapted to a salad bowl, which may be of wood, glass, pottery or china.  Green salads are especially suitable.  Pile the greens lightly into the bowl and sprinkle them with the dressing.  Toss them several minutes t coat the leaves well – a process which the French call “fatiguing” the salad.  A wooden spoon and fork are better than metal ones for this purpose.

A wooden salad bowl should never be washed.  After each use wipe it out thoroughly with a clean dry cloth, then with a piece of bread to absorb the oil.  Before adding the salad ingredients season the bowl by rubbing well with warm olive or salad oil, then with a cut clove of garlic.

Care of Salad Greens:  Salad greens should receive immediate care after purchase,  Separate the leaves and wash them, then put them immediately in the refrigerator to crisp thoroughly.  If you have a covered refrigerator pan, pile them lightly in it; otherwise wrap them in a clean cloth.  Dry them thoroughly before using them in a salad.

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36 thoughts on “Woman’s Home Companion Cook Book – Part 11

  1. Love it – another winner from this book. Now, I eat a LOT of salad and I think I have the youthful zest thing going on, but where´s my slim waistline?! Too much dressing perhaps 😦

    • My mother keeps telling me it is an age thing oh and that I will become accepting of it all in time – sure she must be kidding because I ain’t any where near old or accepting – not very reassuring on my ears I can tell you, let alone my waistline. Wonder if we could start a new support group… Have a great day Tanya. 🙂

  2. These posts, Mandy, are great! I learn something new each time you publish one and I really do look forward to them.

    (By the way, I changed my 10 Question post to reflect the correct book title. Sorry for my error and you were very kind to overlook it.)

  3. I love the tip on the wooden salad bowl – I never would have known that. And I also like the tip on how to clean and care for greens once you bring them home. Always love these posts Mandy! 😉

    • When Pete and I stayed in Mauritius, we rented furnished homes and neither had a salad spinner or dishwasher for that matter and I used the old tea towel method until I could find a salad spinner. Have a great weekend Celia. 🙂

    • I try to have all the greens I want growing in the garden but that is not always fool proof either on having everything fresh and on hand plus now days there are so many wonderful pre-washed greens available in store which helps too. Have a super weekend Kay. 🙂

  4. These are great tidbits from a bygone era. Thank you so much for sharing!
    In pre salad spinner days, we would place greens in a “salad dedicated” pillow case and have the kids swirl them around over head
    – outside of course – helicopter style to dry them. It worked and the kids had fun.
    I hope there are 11 more chapters!

    • Hi and thanks for stopping by Pamela. I am pleased there are so many people interested in this treasured old book. I am thoroughly enjoying sharing it with everybody. I need to check how many chapters are left. I love the idea of the salad pillow case – super cool. Have a lovely weekend. 🙂

  5. I adore salads and I love how they’re making a comeback too. Buying a salad spinner has made my salads even better because all the excess water’s removed so it doesn’t dilute the taste of the dressing or the veg. Thanks for making me think about salads again, just want I needed to stay on track!

  6. —The secret of a successful salad is thorough crisping and chilling of all ingredients.–

    Mandy, this sentence stuck out! Because….it best describes my Fave. salads.

    Crisp. Chilled. Crunch.

    Sending you love from Minnesota. Xx

  7. What interesting information from a fine old cookbook, and a lot of very useful tips on salads and salad making! As a new subscriber, I get the feeling I’ve missed about 10 parts in this series, so am going to pursue your category for this book below and try to catch up! Great post! 🙂

  8. To the little home cooks who “fatigue their salads”! I only get my salads “fatigued” after I get them “Smashed” with champagne vinegar… LOL Mandy I Hope your day is grand. Take care, BAM

    • Too funny Bobbi – love that you get your salads “smashed” with champagne vinegar. Sadly I have not seen it in store here yet – will put my investigative cap on with my next trip to town to source some. Have a super week. 🙂

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