What is mean by Salads? How we make it? Different Types of Salads, and Different Dressing use in Salads all we discuss here.
In simple words a Salad is a composition of ingredients that can be raw, cooked, or cold usually served with a dressing and eaten as an appetizer or as a main course. The word ‘salad’ originated from the Latin word sal which means salt.
The Salads comprises the Following parts
Base – The salad is built up on the base. Common base includes iceberg, chiffonnade of lettuce to the more contemporary bases such as noodles avocado halves and pineapples.
Body – It is the most important part of the salad and is placed on top of the base. It is the most substantial part that can comprise various ingredients thus giving the salad its name. In body may include a variety of ingredients such as fish in a tuna salad or apples in a Waldorf salad.
Dressing – Dressing is used to moisten and add flavour to the salad. Dressing can vary from the classical french dressing that comprises vinegar and oil or mayonnaise-based dressing to the more contemporary dressings such as blue cheese dressin, fruit based dressings and balsamic dressings.
Garnish – Garnish is of prime importance in any salad; it is the focal point of the salad and gives the salad its distinctive nature. It’s provide the salad with colour, contrast and elevation. Common garnishes are chopped walnuts, crostini, fresh herb springs, fresh sprouted seed leaves etc.
Types of Salads
Based on the components of Salads they are classified by following types of Salads-
These salads comprise only one primary ingredient which make up the body with one or two other ingredients that make up the garnish. These salads are usually tossed with a dressing and one must use ingredients that are grown fresh during the season.
Common examples of such salads are beetroot salad that uses boiled diced beetroot with a vinaigrette dressing or a classical tomato salad where roundels of tomatoes are used and served with a dressing and garnishes with chopped parsley.
Compound Salads are very elaborate in nature and can vary depending on the skill and the imagination of the chef. They comprise more than one ingredient and can be classified as follows depending on th ingredient used in the body.
- Fish Based
- Fruit Based
- Meat Based
- Vegetable Based
- Miscellaneous Salads
This is a type of salad where varieties of cooked vegetables, mushrooms, truffles, meats, fish or shellfish etc. are tossed up together with a dressing. Many of the compound Salads are also tossed Salads but they are classical and hence form a different category.
All the other creative salads, which are tossed together will fall in the tossed category.
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Dressing of Salads
- Heightens the flavour and improves are food value is the main benefits of Dressing
- It is usually in a liquid or semi-liquid form which helps in improving the appearance of the salad.
- The dressing should complement the ingredients being used.
- The modern concept of using flavoured oils and reducing the use of fruit juice and extracts in salads is a trend that is fast catching up
Types of Dressing
Oil Based Dressings
These dressing are temporary emulsions consisting olive oil and vinegar commonly called vinaigrette the dressing can be made in bulk and kept for later use.
Fresh cream-based Dressing
These kinds of dressings are prepare using fresh cream. The cream is used to moisten the salad and add to the food value. Cream-based Dressing have to be stored under refrigerator and have a very short shelf life.
Mayonaise is one of the most popular salad dressing used. It is highly versatile and goes will with fruit, fish and vegetable-based salads. It should be stored in refrigerator.
Mayonaise is a relatively stable emulsion conditions may arise that will cause prepared mayonnaise to break or separate into an unacceptable product of curdled appearance. So it prevents from it should be store in cold container.
Natural Yoghurt Dressing
Yoghurt-based dressing are healthy and thus popular in today’s time. It provides a lighter product with a piquant taste that is so desirable in salads.
Various types of Lettuce used in Salads
Lettuce is one of the ingredients that make up the base of a salad. Earlier it used to grow wild but now a days due to its extensive use for culinary purposes, it is cultivated on a commercial basis.
Due to increase in demand for these leaves they are leaves they are available in all supermarket and even with local vegetables vendors. They are a rich source of vitamins and minerals. It is very essential that the lettuce leaves be thoroughly washed before used.
Different types of lettuce used in Salads
Iceberg – One of the most popular lettuce varieties, it gives a very crisp bite. It is found very commonly in all supermarket.
Radicchio – The leaves have a deep red to pink color with white ribbing. This lettuce is grown in the dark thus giving colour to the leaves. It can be eaten raw in a salad, grilled with olive oil, or stuffed.
Lollo Rossa – This lettuce has a mild flavour with tender leaves. The leaves have ruffled edges. It makes a good addition to a tossed salad and adds a lot of colours to a salads.
Romaine/cos – It is used in the famous Caesar salad. It has a very good flavour and a crunchy texture most common variety is the green Romaine; red also available.
Red sangria – Thick leaves that are rose red in colour. The heart is pale yellow in colour. It gives a good colour combination to the salad.
Bibb lettuce – This is also called butter head lettuce and has a loose and delicate flavour, it is not commonly available and hence it is very expensive.
Rocket, red chard and lambs leaf lettuce – Rocket leaves also called rucola or arugula have a very peppery and bitter flavour. They are best suited in a tossed green salad and can be eaten raw as well as braised. Baby spinach is often referred to as lambs lettuce. A mix of red chard lambs lettuce and baby arugula is often known as ‘mescullun mix’.
Frisee – These are curly lettuces with long tender leaves that are attached to a whitish stem. The tip of the leaves have a serrated edge.
How to prepare Good Salad
- Keep in mind that you use all Raw salad ingredients should be fresh and of good quality.
- All leaf salad vegetables should be carefully trimmed of all discolour or damaged leaves and roots then washed in cold water, drained and dried thoroughly.
- If you use large leaf are best if carefully turn into manageable-sized pieces instead of cutting with a knife.
- Use the core part of the lettuce often referred to as ‘hearts of lettuce’ whenever possible as this part is very crisp and offers a natural crunch to the salad.
- The cutting of vegetables either raw or cooked, should be carried out as evenly and neatly as possible. This is essential for making good salads.
- Some items such as avocado, pears, small raw attichokes and some fruits like banana tend to discolour quickly when cut. This can be prevented by preparing them at the last minute and using a lemon-based dressin. Alternatively they may be sprinkled first with a little lemon juice.
- Always mix the salad with dressing at the last minute or the salad can become limp and loose it’s texture.