When you hear the word salad, what comes to mind? Leafy greens? Chicken? Potatoes?
I recently had someone tell me that a salad wasn’t “really” a salad unless it had lettuce in it.
From the Merriam Webster Dictionary:
sal·ad | ˈsa-ləd
Definition of salad
1. any of various usually cold dishes, such as:
- raw greens, often combined with other vegetables and toppings and served especially with dressing
- small pieces of food (such as pasta, meat, fruit, or vegetables) usually mixed with a dressing (such as mayonnaise) or set in gelatin
2. a green vegetable or herb grown for salad especially: lettuce
3. a usually incongruous mixture
There are endless types of dishes named salad, for example, spinach salad, Caesar salad, chicken salad, tuna salad, potato salad, pasta salad, and fruit salad. All they really have to be is cold (although there are exceptions to that too like German potato salad, which is usually served warm), combined with other ingredients, and tossed with a dressing of some sort.
Basically, it sounds like you can call lots of things salad. And that is why a dish can be named salad without any type of lettuce in it.
1 lb. fresh strawberries
½ cup mint
½ cup shaved rhubarb stalk
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon fresh orange juice or Cointreau
¼ cup walnuts
- Mix lemon juice, orange juice, sugar, and shaved rhubarb stalk for 30 minutes.
- Toss with sliced strawberries, mint, and walnuts.
Pickled Beet and Greens Salad
12 ounces mixed greens
1 small beet
¼ red onion
Fresh mint or tarragon
1 cup + 1 tablespoon unseasoned rice vinegar
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon sea salt
¼ cup olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- Very thinly slice beet, carrots, and red onion. Heat 1 cup vinegar, sugar, and sea salt in a small pot. Bring to boil. Remove from heat and add beets, carrots, and red onion. Let stand for about 10 minutes.
- Whisk together lemon juice, 1 tablespoon vinegar, and oil. Toss greens, herbs, and pickled vegetables.
- Season salad with salt and pepper.
Purchased prepared from a grocery store.
Other great salad recipes (not pictured), compliments of Dr. Kimberly Baker
Chicken and Fruit Salad
4 cups boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked, diced
1 ½ cups apples, diced
1 cup grapes, halved
1 cup celery, diced
½ cup pecans, toasted, chopped
¾ – 1 cup mayonnaise
¼ tsp. salt
¼ – ½ tsp. ground black pepper
- Cook and dice chicken. Allow to cool.
- Combine all prepared ingredients in a large bowl. Toss until all ingredients are evenly incorporated.
- Cover and chill until ready for service.
Yield: 16 servings (1/2 cup)
Loaded Potato Salad
1 ½ pounds red potatoes, cooked and cubed
½ cup bacon, cooked and crumbled
¼ cup chives, chopped
1 cup fat-free sour cream
½ cup low-fat mayonnaise
½ tsp. salt (optional)
½ tsp. pepper
- In a large bowl, combine all ingredients.
- Cover and chill before service.
Yield: 6 servings
Mozzarella, Tomato, and Basil Salad
9 cups spinach leaves, washed and stems removed
2 1/3 pounds mozzarella cheese, cut in small cubes
2 ¼ cups fresh basil, chopped
3 ¾ cups ripe tomatoes, chopped
1 cup balsamic vinegar
2 ½ teaspoons salt
3 cups olive oil
1 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- For the dressing, combine vinegar, salt, pepper, and olive oil.
- Wash and remove stems from spinach and basil.
- Combine cheese, tomatoes, spinach, and basil in a large bowl.
- Add dressing and toss gently.
- Let marinate at room temperature for up to 1 hour before serving.
Yield: about 20 servings