National Salad Month
Happy National Salad Month! Personally, I think national salad month is a perfect opportunity to celebrate the end of winter and, dare I say it, turn over a new leaf...
So let's all raise a fork to the mighty and modern salad. And no, I'm not talking about the standard boring salad that people put on their plates but struggle to eat. I'm talking about the delicious, hearty, cheese-filled, protein-packed, any-type-of-green-or-grain-you-want kind of salad we can actually enjoy eating.
First things first, a brief history of salad. The Smithsonian Library did a great blog about the history of salads including some of the earliest references to the term salad:
- According to Alan Davidson’s Oxford companion to food, the earliest reference to salad or ‘salted things’ referred to raw vegetables eaten in classical times with a dressing of oil, vinegar or salt
- Chaucer and other 14th century English writers in England used the term lettuce (“letows”) in their writings
- Shakespeare's popular phrase from Anthony and Cleopatra in 1606 gives us a laugh with, "My salad days, when I was green in judgement"
- John Evelyn's observations in his 1706 work, Acetaria: A discourse of sallets, was that “People, who to this Day, living on Herbs and Roots, arrive to incredible Age, in constant Health and Vigor”
In our own system we have an interesting book dedicated to the global history of salad that is definitely worth checking out if you're interested in food history and culture.
Jumping ahead to our current year, on the heels of Canada's new and improved food guide, I think we can all agree that a shift in our interpretation of salad can be a fresh and exciting change! I myself enjoy any opportunity to infuse fruit into a meal as evidenced by my Foodie Pinterest board so a nice salad + fruit is featured on my weekly meal prep menu. If you are looking for inspiration, fruit filled or otherwise, I've got you covered with these beautifully illustrated cookbooks dedicated to salads and dressings.
"Salads take the spotlight in this visually arresting cookbook that showcases a year's worth of weekday recipes so exciting you'll want to eat salads every day"
Savage Salads: Fierce Flavors Filling Power-Ups by Davide Del Gatto & Kristina Gustafsson
"The Savage Salads team, a London-based culinary duo, believes that salads should taste amazing, look beautiful, and leave you full."
"A collection of recipes for hearty salads features such options as charred broccoli and lentil salad, spring vegetable panzanella, grilled lobster salad with lemon-thyme butter, and curried chicken, grape and cheddar salad."
"Each dressing recipe is paired with suggestions for which greens work best, and add-ons (toasted nuts, roasted vegetables, cooked grains) that provide great options for the best salads all year long."
"As more people get serious about cooking at home, they look to dress up old recipes. The easiest and most effective way of doing this is by using a sauce, salad dressing or marinade."
Now lettuce eat! Stay healthy friends.