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Retro Cool and the Art of the Salad | Manolo for the Big Girl

Retro Cool and the Art of the Salad

My wintry summer has turned into an inescapable sauna bath. I went in two days from wearing turtlenecks and contemplating boots to wondering if taking up naturism wasn’t such a bad idea after all.

All of this, of course, has me thinking about how best to cool myself, and the thought came to me in a flash: salad.

Lovely crispy, crunchy, cool salad. Mmm…salad.

I’ve always loved salads. When I discovered as a child that spinach came in salads, I was delighted. More spinach for Twistie! These days I make it often. Mr. Twistie has a far lower willingness to experiment with vegetables than I do, but salads usually make him happy.

And so it was that I began leafing (leafing? geddit?) through my cookbook collection for salady inspiration last night. Somehow I knew the good old Household Searchlight Recipe Book would have something of interest to say. Here’s how the section on salads and dressings begins:

Ingredients used in making salads should be selected according to the following rules: There should be a pleasing blend of flavors. This is often obtained by an unusual combination of foods, such as sliced oranges and pickled pearl onions served with French dressing.

There should be a contrast of textures. Soft foods should be mixed with those having fibrous and crisp textures such as  fish combined with pickles and celery.

There should be a contrast of color. This may be obtained by combining vivid foods such as carrots, beets, pimientos, or green peppers with those having little or no color. It may be accomplished by topping the salad with a colorful food, seasoning, or dressing.

Particular attention should be paid to the arrangement. The ingredients should be placed neatly and attractively on the lettuce, watercress, cabbage, endive, spinach  or Romaine on which the salad is served.

I don’t know about you, but while I appreciate varied textures and flavors, I’m in no hurry to try that  orange, pickled onions, and French dressing one.

Of course, I could be wrong. The French dressing might be just the right thing. I’m just not nuts about French dressing.

5 Responses to “Retro Cool and the Art of the Salad”

  1. Margo August 29, 2009 at 9:44 am #

    Oh Twistie, I wish you could’ve joined me in Barcelona this week, I ordered Spinach Catalan, it was very simple (spinach with ham stock, pine nuts, sultanas, and magic) and divine. I thought, I could eat this every day.

  2. chachaheels August 29, 2009 at 10:29 am #

    Maybe if the oranges were sliced blood oranges, and the onions were purple and finely sliced into rings, and the “green” in the salad were mint, and the French dressing were actually really good olive oil….

  3. Twistie August 29, 2009 at 10:46 am #

    Oh Margo! Next time you’re going to Barcelona, just pack me along in a steamer trunk. That sounds utterly divine.

    chachaheels, that sounds delish, too!

  4. HurricaneDeck August 30, 2009 at 8:40 am #

    My absolute favorite salad:

    Mixed Spring Greens
    Sliced Strawberries
    Blue Cheese Crumbles
    Croutons, if you wish
    Poppyseed dressing


  5. Twistie August 30, 2009 at 10:36 am #

    That sounds both yummy and cool, Hurricane Deck.