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Salad - an incongruous mixture of mostly fresh ingredients

Salads may be defined as a dish of incongruous ingredients married together with a dressing. Salads may be peasant in nature and made from frugally gathered / available ingredients such as greens and tomatoes or salads may be glorious, ingenious with infinite combinations of leaves, stems, roots, seeds, tubers, fruits, flowers, fungi, bulbs, grasses and nuts. Salads are almost always composed of fresh or preserved foods. Types of salads include green salads, wedge salads, vegetable salads, bound salads, composed salads, fruit salads, and main course salads.

Leaves

Salad greens / mesclun mix, spinach, rocket, Asian greens, Swiss Chard, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale, microgreens, beet greens, mustard greens, watercress, endive, fresh herbs, pea shoots

Stems

Asparagus, celery, rhubarb, cardoon, kohlrabi

Roots (grow straight down)

Beets of all colors and shapes, carrots of all colors, celeriac, parsnips, turnips, rutabaga, radishes, cassava

Seeds and Grains

Beans (legumes), sprouts, sweet corn, chia, poppy, pumpkin, quinoa, sesame, buckwheat, flax, amaranth,

Tuberous Roots (Tubers)

Jerusalem artichokes, potatoes, sweet potatoes, yams

Rhizomes

Ginger, turmeric, galangal, arrowroot

Fruits

Bell peppers, chili peppers, citrus, tomatoes, berries, eggplant, apricots, cucumbers, courgettes, scallopini, cherries, okra, pumpkins, apples / pears, melons, tropical fruits, pomegranates, figs, dates, grapes, coconut, avocado, peaches

Flowers

Broccoli, nasturtiums, artichokes, cauliflowers

Fungi

Mushrooms

Bulbs

Fennel, garlic, leeks, onions, shallots, spring / green onions

Grasses

Wild rice, bamboo, wheat, rices, barley, millet, oats, maize

Nuts

Walnuts, almonds, pecans, pinyon, Brazil, macadamias, cashews, hazelnuts, pistachios, chestnuts, peanuts, water chestnuts

Salad dressings represent an exciting potential of ingredients used to "marry" the salad components or they may represent a tried and true flavor used to heighten your favorite combination of fresh ingredients. Without a dressing, no matter how simple, a salad is only a bowl of ingredients. A dressing may be as simple as a vinaigrette - an emulsion consisting of lemon, lime or vinegar combined ideally with a pressed vegetable or nut oil. Additional ingredients are used to enhance flavor and impart texture. There are hundreds of salad dressing enhancements including fresh herbs, salt, pepper, mustard, seeds, fresh juices and many, many more.

Sometimes the easiest way to dress a salad is to toss your salad ingredients into a large bowl. Drizzle some nice pressed vegetable or nut oil over the salad, then add a teaspoon or more of minced garlic, finely diced jalapeno, salt and pepper. Then squeeze a fresh lemon or lime over the salad and toss. Bon appetite.

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