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November 1998 Issue
Salads Supreme
by Philip R. Gantt
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Green Salads

Green salads can be as diverse as your imagination. You might want to try adding some dandelions from the yard, some malva, watercress from a clean stream, or other natural "weeds" for that extra bit of nutrition, texture and appearance. You can select any variety of vegetables for your salad. The basic salad is easily modified to suit the occasion.

Of course, the dressing that you choose will tailor the salad to go with the particular meal that you are serving. An oil and vinegar based dressing is good with Italian food, and the American favorite Ranch dressing goes well with most American dishes. A sweet and sour dressing goes well with Chinese food, and Ginger dressing suits Japanese food quite well. Here is a basic green salad that you can prepare for just about any meal.

  • 1 head lettuce
  • 1 cucumber, sliced
  • 1 bunch radishes, sliced
  • 1 fresh tomato, quartered and sliced into chunks
  • 1 green onion, diced
  • 1 yellow squash, quartered and sliced
  • Croutons
Break the lettuce into bite sized chunks and place in a serving bowl. Toss with remaining vegetables and top with croutons.

For a Mediterranean theme, add sliced black olives and crumbled Feta cheese as a garnish to your salad. To compliment Mexican food, add some chopped cilantro, sliced avocado, and perhaps some diced green chili. The addition of some grated parmesan and sliced mushrooms is good with an Italian meal.

I think it is important that a salad have an appealing color scheme. You may consider using two or three types of lettuce to add color and texture. Even some edible flowers, like nasturtiums or rose petals, can be added for variety and color. One option is to use flowers as a decoration to your salad dishes for that special occasion. A little extra flair makes for a favorable and lasting impression.

  • Yields: 8 servings
  • Preparation Time: 15 minutes
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