Jamaican Potato Salad Extraordinaire
The creator Caesar Cardini eventually bottled and sold his trademark dressing in the Los Angeles area. A favorite restaurant in Chicago the Blackhawk featured their signature "spinning salad bowl" along with every entree on the menu served tableside. French chefs made vinaigrette dressing with oil herbs chopped shallots and paprika throughout the 1800s.Those especially adventurous added tomato sauce which became the foundation for classic French dressing. Kraft Foods in 1939 introduced their popular version orange in color. Boomers remember it drizzled over iceberg lettuce. Miracle Whip appeared around the same time labeled salad dressing but primarily used to hold together chopped meat chicken or eggs for a tasty sandwich filling. In the 1920 s Green Goddess dressing was created at a San Francisco restaurant in honor of a play by the same name. (Good thing Death of a Salesman didn t debut that same year.) Colonial America grew lettuce in their home gardens along with cabbage beans and root vegetables.
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.
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.