Salads refer to a whole category of dishes that include raw vegetables but can also include: cold, cooked vegetables, including grains and pasta; ones which add cold meat or seafood; sweet dishes made of cut-up fruit; and even warm dishes. Though the prototypical salad is light, a dinner salad can constitute a complete meal. These dishes are served dressed with vinaigrette.
Vinaigrettes are an emulsion of oils and vinegar sometimes flavored with herbs, spices and commonly used as a salad dressing or cold sauce. Salads are complex and vexing for most chefs who write menus. In America, the salad starts the meal and as a chef, I want my first impression to be a good one. In Europe, a salad ends the meal and the last impression should also be a good one. A salad can be exciting and palate stimulating. I urge all home cooks to rethink their salads. This can be a make-or break course and can become the course that everyone looks forward to.
6 different types of salads:
- Green salads are salads consisting mainly of leaves and vinaigrette.
- Vegetable salads are made of vegetables and some or no leaves.
- Bound salad consists of ingredients held together by a thick dressing such as aioli (mayonnaise).
- Main course salads are also called entrée salads and often include a protein such as beef, fish or chicken and for vegetarians, tofu or seitan.
- Fruit salads are made of one or several different fruits.
- Dessert salads rarely contain leaves and are often sweet and can contain fruit purees, jellies and whipped cream.
Chef’s hint for vinaigrettes:
Salt your vinaigrette before adding the oil. Once the oil has been added, the salt will not dissolve and your salad will not be evenly seasoned.
Try these new salad recipes this Fall with flavorful salad dressing recipes that will make everyone scream for salad.