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.