Salad is a dish consisting of small pieces of food, which may be mixed with a sauce or salad dressing. Salads can incorporate a variety of foods including vegetables,fruits,cheese, cooked meat,eggs and grains. Some of the common types of salads include bean salad,tuna salad, fattoush, Greek salad.The sauce used to flavor a salad is commonly called salad dressing and well-known types of salad dressing includes ranch, Thousand Island, and vinaigrette.Most salads are served cold, although some, such as south German potato salad, are served warm. Salads may be served at any point during a meal, such as:
- Appetizersalads, light salads to stimulate theappetiteras the first course of the meal.
- Side salads, to accompany the main course as aside dish.
- Main coursesalads, usually containing a portion of heartier fare, such aschicken breastor slices ofbeef.
- Dessertsalads, sweet versions often containingfruit,gelatinand/orwhipped cream.
There are various types of salads available such as
- Green salad or garden salad which is most often composed of leafy vegetables such as lettuce varieties, spinach, or rocket (arugula). Due to their low caloric density, green salads are considered a common diet food. The salad leaves may be cut or torn into bite-sized fragments and tossed together (called a tossed salad), or may be placed in a predetermined arrangement (a composed salad). They are often adorned with garnishes such as nuts or croutons.
- In Vegetable salad, vegetables other than greens may be used in a salad. Common raw vegetables used in a salad include cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes, onions, spring onions, red onions, carrots, celery, and radishes. Other ingredients, such as mushrooms, avocado, olives, hard boiled egg, artichoke hearts, heart of palm, roasted red bell peppers, green beans, croutons, cheeses, meat (e.g. bacon, chicken), or seafood (e.g.tuna, shrimp), are sometimes added to salads.
- Bound salad can be composed or (arranged) or tossed (put in a bowl and mixed with a thick dressing). They are assembled with thick sauces such as mayonnaise. One portion of a true bound salad will hold its shape when placed on a plate with an ice-cream scoop. Examples of bound salad include tuna salad, pasta salad, chicken salad, egg salad, and potato salad. Bound salads are often used as sandwich fillings. They are popular at picnics and barbecues, because they can be made ahead of time and refrigerated.
- Main course salads also known as “dinner salads and commonly known as “entrée salads” in North America) may contain grilled or fried chicken pieces, seafood such as grilled or fried shrimp or a fish steak such astuna,mahi-mahi, or salmon or sliced steak, Caesar salad,Chef salad,Cobb salad,Greek salad,Chinese chicken salad and Michigan salad are dinner salads.
- Fruit salads are made of fruit, and include the fruit cocktail that can be made fresh or from canned fruit.
- Dessert saladsrarely include leafy greens and are often sweet. Common variants are made withgelatinorwhipped cream; e.g.jello salad,pistachio salad, andambrosia. Other forms of dessert salads includesnickers salad,glorified rice, andcookie saladpopular in parts of the Midwestern United States.
- Composed salad is a salad arranged on a plate rather than put into a bowl.It can be used as a meal in itself rather than as a part of a meal.
Sauces for salads are often called “dressings”. The concept of salad dressing varies across cultures.In Western culture, there are two basic types of salad dressing:
Vinaigretteis a mixture ofsalad oilandvinegar, often flavored withherbs,spices, salt, pepper, sugar, and other ingredients. It is also used as a sauce or marinade.
- Creamy dressings, usually based onmayonnaiseorfermented milk products, such asyogurt,sour cream(crème fraîche,smetana),buttermilk.
In North America, mayonnaise-based Ranch dressing is most popular, with vinaigrettes and Caesar-style dressing following close behind. Traditional dressings in France are vinaigrettes, typically mustard-based, while sour cream (smetana) and mayonnaise are predominant in eastern European countries and Russia. In Denmark, dressings are often based on crème fraîche. In southern Europe, salad is generally dressed by the diner with olive oil and vinegar.In Asia, it is common to add sesame oil, fish sauce, citrus juice, or soy sauce to salad dressings.
Today’s fast paced lives leaves most people with little time to sit down to a meal leave alone about what they eat in that meal. Meals are gobbled on the go, with no regard to their nutritive content. Salads add crunch, freshness and vitality to a meal. A bowlful of this salad is low in calories but high in carbohydrates, antioxidants and Omega-3 fatty acids……. perfect for a healthy living and lifestyle.