Like many people at this time of year, after a lovely, indulgent, festive season I’m trying now to lose a little weight. I’m lucky because I really do love salad so it’s no hardship for me to have one for lunch, and maybe treat myself to another for dinner. I like a variety of different vegetables, not just leaves, and sometimes if there are left over other things, beans, peas, sweetcorn, even sprouts cut in half, odd ends of cheese/ham/ /chicken, nuts, seeds, stale bread cut in cubes, cold rice… just about anything really… and not just traditional salad vegetables, raw carrots, beetroot (my fave) leeks, sprouts (again)… yes almost anything can go in my salad… oh and fruit, any fruit!
I think we tend to regard thees sort of different salads as modern, and certainly when I was growing up salad did have a bad name, flabby lettuce, tomatoes cut in quarters, slices of cucumber sometimes in vinegar, cooked beetroot in vinegar, spring onions, hard-boiled eggs cut in halves or quarters, slices of ham/chicken/corned beef/spam/any cold meat, pickles…
Looking in Modern Practical Cookery, published in the 1930’s and probably written in the late twenties, there is a whole chapter on salads, fifteen pages followed by another fifteen on vegetables to be cooked. There are ten different salad dressings, including condensed milk salad dressing, Italian salad dressing and mint salad dressing. There’s an introduction, some instructions, suggestions on how to serve, and how to keep lettuce crisp, and recipes for pickled eggs, cheese balls, and carrot and cheese balls.
Salads, both sweet and savoury, are becoming more and more popular.
They may be served with hot or cold meat or poultry; or them make a course of their own, served in dainty, individual dishes.
The most popular salad is made from a mixture of plants – lettuce, mustard and cress, endive, batavia, and watercress. Batavia and endive are slightly bitter, and they should be used with discretion.
- 1 small cooked beetroot, thinly sliced
- 3 or 4 medium, cooked potatoes, thickly sliced
- 2 tomatoes, thickly sliced
- 2 hard-boiled eggs
- salad dressing – yolk from one of the boiled eggs, 1 tbsp vinegar, ¼ tsp castor sugar, ¼ tsp mixed mustard, salt and pepper, 2 tbsp salad oil
- cut one of the eggs into slices
- take the yolk from the other egg and crumble or rub through a sieve and set aside
- cut the white from the second egg into rings
- arrange the beetroot, tomato and potato in a serving dish, garnish with the rings of egg white
- make the dressing by mixing the yolk and mustard
- when mixed well, add the salad oil drop by drop, stirring all the time with a wooden spoon
- add the sugar, salt and pepper and mix well
- gradually add the vinegar, stirring well
You can see my featured image isn’t winter salad! It is a salad though!