Mean Bean Salad Vegan Gluten Free Nut Free
With Americans love for pasta it was only a matter of time before pasta salad emerged first appearing as simple macaroni salad giving way to more sophisticated versions and add-ins. European immigrants brought their potato salad recipes to America both cold and hot which utilized the inexpensive and easy-to-grow potato as a hearty base. Europe was serving up potato salad as early as the 1600s usually mixed with vinegar oil and bacon the forerunner of German potato salad served hot. Warmer climates enjoyed potatoes cold with cream and vegetables.The French no slouches in the cuisine department took it one step further adding mayonnaise herbs and mustard Dijon of course. (No self-respecting Frenchman would even think of using yellow mustard as Americans do.) Since the 1970s when salad bars became de rigueur the lowly salad has taken center stage no longer an afterthought alongside a main course. Supermarkets feature prepackaged lettuce and salad fixings boxed pasta salad mix and rows of greens and colorful vegetables all waiting to be dressed up.
But maybe that s just American. In any case salad can mean a lot of things to a lot of people. It can be as complex or a simple as you desire. This cucumber salad is simple. It s an easy fast way to add a serving or two of those 5-a-Day to your diet. I learned long ago that adding a simple salad to the beginning of your meal is ideal in getting those veggies worked in. It keeps the menu planning down to manageable and it can cost-conscious especially when using in season vegetables. It s all about KISS = Keep it Simple Silly! One vegetable one salad one course. By doing KISSing it you ll have a wider choice of first courses using one fresh vegetable: tomatoes grated carrots grated root celery have an avocado grapefruit beets mushrooms... You can always jazz up each salad with something different a fresh herb for example or a different nut oil or vinegar. I choose a vegetable for my first course salad then I let my inner cravings tell me which way to jazz it up.
It is slightly bitter but also has a bite to it and it s important to tear it into small pieces. One of our great dinner-table pastimes at the cottage is guessing what s in the salad. My father in law usually puts twenty or more garden ingredients in. Here are some of the others he grows and tosses into salads usually just a handful of each. First a couple of perennial herbs grow outside the garden fence (because the deer don t seem to find these herbs that interesting. One is bee balm or bergamot; it grows leaves that taste like Earl Grey tea and gorgeous scarlet red flowers that can be torn into their individual florets the florets tossed into the salad for visual effect. A half dozen bergamot leaves in small pieces is all you d want in a large salad.