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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.
If you can t really eat everything at once they why try to serve it at once non? Not all courses are complicated; neither are all meals. One type of food the French like to serve separately is la salade. Salade has a wide and vague meaning in French. I suppose it does in English too. Sure you might think a tossed salad is "salad" with tomato wedges cucumber rounds lettuce and maybe a few croutons but then if that s considered salad the how do we call potato salad a salad if most of us don t even put any of those aforementioned ingredients in our potato salad? And what about pasta salad? Or cranberry salad? My encounters with cranberry salad have cranberry jello/gelatin whipped cream and marshmallows? Now how can that be called salad? Egg salad tuna salad and crab or shrimp salad might be served on lettuce a.k.a. la salade but if you put any of these salads between two slices of bread wouldn t you call them Egg salad sandwich? Tuna salad sandwich? I would.
And when you combine all five you ll have a four-star appetizer. 1 - Restaurants Can Make Their Own Vinaigrettes and Dressings The first restaurant salad secret is that they can make their own vinaigrettes or dressings. A sign of a true quality restaurant is one that makes their own dressings in house. Making dressings allows complete culinary freedom when it comes to the taste of a salad and adds to the amazing flavor you can experience. Making vinaigrettes and dressings is also surprisingly easy to do. I remember nights working in the restaurant when I d have to make a custom vinaigrettes for VIP clients on the fly meaning in under 3 minutes. After a quick trip downstairs to our dry goods storeroom I d return with 90 seconds to spare and still have enough time to whip up something tasty. Knowing how easy it is to make your own vinaigrettes it always surprises me when I hear a restaurant is buying them from a food supplier.