The word salad is derived from a Latin word "salted" meaning salt as salt is one of the major ingredients used to make a good salad. Over the years many salads are have been created for our eating pleasure. The salad is a food which is served with a dressing that can be a cold dish or green vegetables or the hot mixture of piquant food, meat, poultry, and fish. There is a wide range of salad items suitable for use and are generally prepared by the cold kitchen or ladder section of the kitchen. The word "SALAD" conjure up the image of flabby lettuce with a slice of cucumber and tomato, but its preparation and presentation to a modern catering are being diverted to many styles of making a salad using any items of food commodities. Salad is essential product of the pantry area or cold kitchen section, that may be prepared and served at a dining table or more effective merchandising and a greater profit return.
Salad should always have following characteristics, and they are piquant, cold, crisp, colorful, aromatic and well seasoned. A salad is the first course in the menu of continental cuisine, as it is often referred to as starter or appetizer and portioned as small quantities. It also can be served in many other courses in any stage of a meal during the lunch time or on the dinner time. The popularity of salad is grown up in recent time due to the following reasons and they are:
- They either require no cooking or can be cooked in advance and refrigerated. Therefore, they can be served at any stage.
- They can be prepared and served to the dinners as an accompaniment or as a salad course in French classical menu. i.e (A`la carte menu and table d` hotel)menu
- They are nutritious, light and therefore in keeping with modern dieting.
- They are accompanied to increase the value of dishes and to add eye appeal.
Types of Salad
Salad are classified into two main categories depending upon the numbers of ingredient used and they are ;
- Simple salad
This type of salad is made up of using a single ingredient or very few raw ingredients and is dressed onto the plate or salad crescent shaped dish. For example tomato salad, cucumber salad, carrot salad, etc
- Compound salad
Salad, made up of the assortment of two or more than two ingredients together, with dressing is known as compounded salad. For example salad nicoise, coleslaw, Russian salad, etc
Structure of salad
In very simple example what makes a man smart in the combination of structure, dress up, intelligence and moreover a total well-balanced look. Similarly, salad also should be well structured to be looked good. Following are the parts of a good salad.
The base is the foundation on which the body of salad is portioned. It is usually some form of leafy green vegetables such as lettuce, cabbage, watercress, or cottage cheese may also be served in this capacity
The body comprises of the ingredient that constitutes the main part of a salad. Salad gets its name from those ingredients that are used for the body. Accompanying salad contains less substantial body element that salad used as the main course.
Dressing is used to blend the ingredient and add flavor. It must both agree with the salad components' and accentuate their taste and texture. Adding different ingredient ti either basic mayonnaise or vinaigrette may create a dressing. Although acidulated cream and natural yogurt are also popular. Salad dressing includesMayonnaise,Acidulated cream andVinaigrette.
It attempts to provide eye appeal and make it more attractive. It may be part of the body or it can be an additional item that can be blend and compliment.
Fig: salad (source: www.olivegarden.com)
Way to Serve Salad
Salad can be served in many ways, following are some ways the salad is served at its best
When served as an appetizer, the salad should be stimulating, light, crisp and tasty using appropriate sauces or dressings. It may include meat, fish,cheese or fruits.
- Main course
When served as a main course, the salad should offer the varieties of food for balance which often includes meat, fish, dairy products and nuts and a mixture of pasta.
In the most of the cases salad is served with the main course, when served with the main course it should help to satisfy the appetite, provide color, texture, and taste to contrast with the main course.
- Refresher course
Some menus include salad after the main course this is to refresh the palate and usually consists of simple green salad, lightly dressed vegetables or tart fruit salad, here the salad should be light and contrasting and is also served as a garnish in some main dishes.
Varieties of Salad
There are different types of verities of salad and some of them are mentioned below:
- Green vegetable salad:Lettuce,slice of cucumber, carrot, onion, tomato, radish and vinaigrette dressing with seasoning.
- Potato salad:Cooked potatoes, lettuce, chopped onions, chopped parsley, vinaigrette, and seasoning.
- Kidney bean salad:Lettuce, cooked bean, chopped parsley, mayonnaise, and seasoning
- Florida salad:Orange segments, lettuce, fine julienne orange zest, acidulated cream, and seasoning
- Rice salad:Cooked rice, peas, tomatoes, vinaigrette and seasonings.
- Nicosia salad:French bean, tomato cooked diced potatoes, anchovy, capers, stone olive, lettuce, vinaigrette, and seasoning.
- Meat salad:Cooked lean meat, cooked French bean, gherkins, tomatoes, chopped onion, chopped parsley, vinaigrette and seasonings
- Fish salad:Cooked fish (free from skin and bone) hard-boiled eggs, vinaigrette, and seasoning.
- Chicken Hawaii salad:Chicken, pineapple, lettuce, mayonnaise, salt and pepper
- Waldorf salad:Celery, apple, walnut, mayonnaise, orange, lettuce, chopped parsley, olive, salt, and pepper.
Any salad without dressing is a lady without makeup. Dressing is usually in a form of liquid or semi-liquid. The different sauce can also be used as salad dressing, such as mayonnaise, thousand islands etc. salad is never complete without dressing.
The importance of dressing in salad are:
- Dressing in a salad improves flavor and taste in a salad.
- Dressing in a salad provides food value and helps in digestion.
- Dressing in salad enriches the palatability and appearance
Fig: Dressing salad (source: theluxuryspot.com)
Types of Dressing
- Vinaigrette dressing
The vinaigrette dressing is made by mixing of olive oil/ salad oil, vinegar, mustard powder and seasoning (salt and pepper ) one after another. This is further divided into different types depending on the difference in the ratio of mixture between oil and vinegar.
- American dressing
1 part vinegar + 1 part salad oil + fresh herb + seasoningsFrench dressing
1 part of vinegar+ 3 part of salad oil + French mustard powder + seasoning. This is the most common dressing of salad.
- English dressing
2 part vinegar + 1 part salad + mustard powder + seasoning
Mayonnaise is a cold sauce used in salad dressing prepared by the emulsion of egg yolk and salad oil with seasoning.
- Lemon dressing
Dressing base on lemon juice, oil, and seasoning.
- Acidulated cream dressing
Dressing based on cream, lemon juice, seasoning and paprika.
- Honey mustard dressing
Dressing based on honey, mustard paste, lemon, and seasoning.
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