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Oregano is another deer-proof perennial favorite but again use just a few small leaf pieces. Interestingly oregano tastes much milder fresh than dried unlike its cousin basil which has a far more intense flavor fresh. Anise hyssop is hard to buy in herb form but you can usually find seeds at garden centers; it grows gorgeous complex purple flowers shaped like spears and again you can use the florets for visual effect in a green salad. The leaves taste like anise or licorice. Anise hyssop isn t strictly speaking a perennial but it reliably self seeds so once you plant a few you ll have them year after year. Chives are another favorite perennial. You can cut just a few leaves and chop them into one-inch lengths for a salad and don t forget to use some of the chive blossoms as well. While we re on the onion family don t forget to use a few garlic greens - the leafy green tops of your garlic plants and the florets as well. But go easy on the garlic as a little goes a long way.
Simple vinegar and oil made room for bottled dressings and mayo paving the way for "bound salads." Sounds a little kinky but this category includes some of our favorites: tuna salad chicken salad egg salad ham salad shrimp and crab salad. The chicken came first showing up in mid-1800s cookbooks tuna much later with the advent of canned tuna. In the late 1930s Spam made ham salad easy and egg salad was a natural. With the introduction of Jello gelatin molded salads took their colorful place at any luncheon. Restauranteur Robert Cobb created the salad that bears his name at his Brown Derby restaurant in Hollywood; chef salad debuted at the Ritz Carlton in New York and originally included sliced ox tongue along with ham and cheese. (Mercifully in later years turkey or chicken replaced the ox tongue.) In Hollywood s early days Caesar salad was embraced by the stars who happily munched on this trendy salad at some of their favorite restaurants.
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.