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Salads and Salad Dressings

Aug 17, 2007
Salads bring fruits and vegetables to the table crisp, cool, and color-bright. With greens, fresh vegetables, or gay fruit, they add a light touch. Or they may be the sturdy kind that feature such items as meat, potatoes, cheese, or beans.

Light salads are usually served in portions of about 1/2 cup. Heavier salads, often used as main dishes, may provide about 1 cup for each serving.

Start with good fruits and vegetables:

Selecting top-quality fruits and vegetables in market or garden is a good start toward a good salad. Crisply fresh food has eye and taste appeal, and the best nourishment, besides.

Watch for smooth, colorful skins on apples, plums, cucumbers, if they are to join the salad with jackets on.

Give salad foods the best kitchen care to avoid bruising and hold freshness. If prepared ahead of time, store salad ingredients without dressing in refrigerator. Keeping them cool saves nutrients.

What kind of dressing?

What shall it be-sweet or tart, thick or thin-for the salad dressing? The answer lies in your family's taste.

Main-dish salads made with meat, fish, poultry, eggs, beans, cheese, or potatoes usually call for a mayonnaise-type or cooked salad dressing. But some of these more substantial salads are good with tart french dressing-salad oil combined with lemon juice or vinegar plus seasonings.

Tart french dressing is the most likely choice for vegetable salads and vegetable-fruit combinations. But some vegetable salads may well take a mayonnaise or cooked dressing.

Reserve the sweet clear french dressings for fruit salads. Mayonnaise made milder with whipped cream or thinned and sweetened with fruit juice is good for fruit salads too.

For appetite appeal:

Chill ingredients before mixing-except for molded salads.

Provide tartness in the body of salad or dressing.

Use salad greens other than lettuce sometimes. Have you tried chicory, escarole, endive, kale, spinach, dandelion greens, romaine, watercress, and Chinese cabbage?

Sprinkle orange, lemon, lime, or pineapple juice on fruits that may turn dark-apples, peaches, and bananas, for instance.

For tossed green salads, tear greens in fairly large pieces or cut with scissors. Larger pieces give more body to the salad.

Prevent wilting and sogginess by drying the greens used in salads, draining canned foods well before adding to salad, using just enough salad dressing to moisten. For raw vegetable salads, add dressing at the last minute.

Fruit combinations
1. Sliced pineapple, apricot halves, sweet red cherries.
2. Watermelon balls, peach slices, orange slices.
3. Grapefruit sections, banana slices, berries or cherries.
4. Grapefruit sections, unpared apple slices.
5. Peach slices, pear slices, halves of red plums.
6. Pineapple wedges, banana slices, strawberries.
7. Cooked dried fruit, white cherries, red raspberries.

Fruit and vegetable combinations
1. Shredded raw carrots, diced apples, raisins.
2. Sliced or ground cranberries, diced celery and apples, orange sections.
3. Thin cucumber slices, pineapple cubes.
4. Avocado and grapefruit sections, tomato slices.
5. Shredded cabbage, orange sections, crushed pineapple.

Vegetable combinations
1. Grated carrots, diced celery, cucumber slices.
2. Spinach, endive, or lettuce, with tomato wedges.
3. Sliced raw cauliflower flowerets, chopped green pepper, celery, pimiento.
4. Shredded cabbage, cucumber cubes, slivers of celery.
5. Cubed cooked beets, thinly sliced celery, sweet onions.
6. Cooked whole-kernel corn and shredded snap beans, sweet pickles, onion rings.
About the Author
This is an extract from Family Fare Food Management and Recipes
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