Salads play an important part in most menus. Their popularity stems from a number of factors – they are considered as a health food; they lend themselves particularly to cold buffets; they blend with and this complement many types of hot dish; traditionally they are served with main courses such as grills of meat and poultry or with roasts of meat, poultry and game, usually in place of a second vegetable. Many salads can also be served as an appetizer or side salad.
There are two main kinds of salad – the simple ones consisting of several raw salad vegetables or a single commodity such as cucumber served accompanied by the appropriate dressing, and the combination salads made with several ingredients, bound with the dressing and served in a complete form. Crudites are also a form of salad as they are cuts of crisp salad items for dipping in carious cold sauces whilst awaiting the arrival of the first course.
Salads may also be made with cooked vegetables flavored with the appropriate sauce either when cold or when still warm, as in the case of carrots, turnips, peas and french beans.
Various types of lettuce, e.g. Chinese leaves, Webb’s Wonder, iceberg and cos lettuce, may be included and, if desired, combinations of curly and Belgium endive, celery and watercress. Dandelions, nettles and many different herbs may also be added.
There is no end to the extent of the repertoire of the salad. In many instances the ingredients are interchangeable and as with appetizers a little imagination can yield outstanding results.
Salads may be served in glass or wooden bowls, on side plates or crescent shaped side dishes.
Problem 1: Why does my salad looks limp?
Cause & Solution:
– salad stuffs not fresh; unless finished with a dressing place in a salad bowl with a little vinegar water to freshen the lettuce (this is not possible if already finished with a dressing).
– dressing added too soon before salad is required; dress the salad at the last possible moment as this cannot be rectified.
– salad over-mixed; care must be taken during preparation.
– salad not kept chilled;
Problem 2: Mayonnaise overpowers the salad;
Cause & Solution:
– too much mayonnaise used; care must be taken when preparing and adding the dressing.
– mayonnaise is too thick; dilute the mayonnaise with a little cream or water.