Salads and Salad Dressings

Salads, which constitute a course in almost every dinner, but a few years since seldom appeared on the table. They, are now made in an endless variety of ways, and are composed of meat, fish, vegetables (alone or in combination) or fruits, with the addition of a dressing. The salad plants, lettuce, watercress, chiccory, cucumbers, etc., contain but little nutriment, but are cooling, refreshing, and assist in stimulating the appetite. They are valuable for the water and potash salts they contain. The olive oil, which usually forms the largest part of the dressing, furnishes nutriment, and is of much value to the system.

Salads made of greens should always be served crisp and cold. The vegetables should be thoroughly washed, allowed to stand in cold or ice water until crisp, then drained and spread on a towel and set aside in a cold place until serving time. See Lettuce. Dressing may be added at table or just before sending to table. If greens are allowed to stand in dressing they will soon wilt. It should be remembered that winter greens are raised under glass and should be treated as any other hothouse plant. Lettuce will be affected by a change of temperature and wilt just as quickly as delicate flowers.

Canned or cold cooked left-over vegetables are well utilized in salads, but are best mixed with French Dressing and allowed to stand in a cold place one hour before serving. Where several vegetables are used in the same salad they should be marinated separately, and arranged for serving just before sending to table.

Meat for salads should be freed from skin and gristle, cut in small cubes, and allowed to stand mixed with French Dressing before combining with vegetables. Fish should be flaked or cut in cubes.
Where salads are dressed at table, first sprinkle with salt and pepper, add oil, and lastly vinegar. If vinegar is added before oil, the greens will become wet, and oil will not cling, but settle to bottom of bowl.

A Chapon. Remove a small piece from end of French loaf and rub over with a clove of garlic, first dipped in salt. Place in bottom of salad bowl before arranging salad. A chapon is often used in vegetable salads, and gives an agreeable additional flavor.

To Marinate. The word marinate, used in cookery, means to add salt, pepper, oil, and vinegar to a salad ingredient or mixture and let stand until well seasoned.

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