Pear salad and Onion and orange salad

It’s ben somewhat cooler over the last week or so; come May, and you expect summer to be beginning to show itself. However the days are longer, and the light has changed and I’m back to eating salads. I actually eat salads all year round, but in the November to March months I guess I don’t eat it as often or as much of it. I like mixing fruit and vegetables, nuts and seeds, and cutting it up to fork sized pieces. I tend to just grab whatever is to hand and don’t have a particular idea in mind – however, looking once again at ‘Cookery To-Day and To-Morrow’ by Nell Heaton and published during the war, she lists twenty-seven different salad combinations and six different dressings. Her ideas must have come from the 1930’s, and yet years and years later, salads on the whole were very uninteresting. Whole lettuce leaves, tomatoes cut in half or quarters, whole spring onions – and pickled onions, whole radishes, beetroot pickled in vinegar, not at all like Nan’s salads from years before.

As well as unusual vegetables such as artichokes (with French dressing and finely chopped parsley) or raw root vegetables – grated carrots, parsnips and turnips layered and with grated onion, chopped chives and shredded mayonnaise, she also gives recipes for chestnut salad (with mayonnaise and mustard and cress) macaroni salad (with grated cheese, chives, watercress and chopped nuts and with mayonnaise) I thought using Brussel sprouts in a salad was a new idea, and fruit with salad – my favourite, still isn’t popular with everyone.

Pear salad

  • peel and halve pears and arrange on a nest of lettuce leaves
  • pour over a little grenadine
  • garnish with cream cheese and chopped parsley
  • dress with french dressing

Onion and orange salad

  • line a salad bowl with crisp lettuce leaves
  • layer thinly slices of onion and pieces of orange
  • dress with French dressing
  • garnish with chopped parsley

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