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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.
Remove the shells of the hard-boiled eggs slice with an egg slicer and set aside. Follow these steps when preparing the Nigerian Salad With the exception of the egg start putting the salad ingredients in small batches into a big salad bowl. You can start with the lettuce followed by the tomatoes then potatoes sweet corn baked beans cucumber carrots then back to lettuce. Repeat the process till all the ingredients are exhausted. This method of making the Nigerian Salad helps the juice from each of the ingredients to seep into others. Now place the sliced eggs on the salad covering the top. Cover the bowl and place in the fridge for at least one hour. This is to give all the Nigerian Salad ingredients time to blend with each other. In addition the Nigerian Salad is best served chilled. Serve with a salad dressing of your choice but as mentioned earlier the classic Heinz Salad cream works best with the Nigerian Salad. Notes and Tips. If you prefer your own salad crunchy you can substitute the lettuce with cabbage. Instead of taking out the lettuce entirely you can use the two as the lettuce adds a green color to the salad. Afterall this recipes is not only about the taste but about color too.
Mixing in one bowl and plating somewhere else allows the excess dressing to stay in the bowl and away from the customer s plate. If you re planning to put in a vegetable garden this spring don t just plant lettuce for your salads. Why not plant your own mesclun mix? The most amazing salads can come from your own back yard. My father in law grows a huge variety of greens at his summer cottage and his green salads are better than anything I ve had in a fancy restaurant. He starts with the basics - romaine lettuce green leaf lettuce and red leaf lettuce. He also uses oak leaf lettuce which is just a regular lettuce whose leaves are palmate (hand shaped) and therefore look a bit like oak leaves. These lettuces provide the bulk of the salad materials. He picks individual leaves off each plant so that each plant continues to grow through the summer. His lettuces can grow up to two feet tall (on the stalk) and he s still making salads from them.