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A delicate seasonal food it was enjoyed in summer only and not available year round until the 20th century when California grew and shipped head lettuce nationwide. No question foodie president Thomas Jefferson experimented with a number of varieties which were served daily to his family and dinner guests with vinaigrette dressing or a sprinkling of herbs and mayonnaise (his chef was French-trained). As Americans developed more sophisticated tastes traditional iceberg lettuce took a backseat to Romaine arugula endive radicchio and field greens. Originally these varieties were considered greens for the elite due to price and perishability. Of late retro salads are showing up with quarters of iceberg lettuce and dressing. For Boomers who grew up on the stuff it harkens back to the 50s along with Spam salad meatloaf canned fruit cocktail and Popsicles.
There are many common salad ingredients which can be used in combinations for: - green salads - mostly made with a type of lettuce as a base ingredient - added items could be raw vegetables fruits nuts cooked meats eggs cheeses etc. These are usually topped with a dressing that is either mayonnaise based (dressing) or oil-based (vinaigrette) - vegetable salads - sometimes made with just raw vegetables but more often with blanched vegetables (to soften them up a bit) fruit (other than dried) is rarely added but nuts & cheeses are common. A sauce or dressing can be used for flavour and to bind the ingredients together. - mixed green salads - This type of salad is usually composed of a variety of lettuces (of which there are many).
After he washes them tears the larger pieces up and adds them to a gigantic salad bowl he usually adds a couple of store-bought ingredients to round out the textures and flavors of the salad. These include sweet red peppers (cut into tiny pieces) and fennel bulb (also called Florence fennel or anise). Then he adds a simple dressing of olive oil various wine vinegars a dash of Dijon mustard and a teaspoon of sugar. Salad is served at the end of the main course so that the vinegar doesn t spoil the flavor of whatever wine we re drinking. Sometimes the salad bowl goes around three or four times before it s all gone and eating a fresh green salad grown straight from the cottage garden is one of the summer s greatest pleasures.