Salads can be served as a main course, an appetizer to stimulate your appetite, a side dish that will accompany your main course, for your entrée which would include your protein, (beef, pork, chicken, or fish) and also for desserts that you can add gelatin and whipped cream for a delicious sweet treat. The salad can be made from many different ingredients, not just lettuce such as, vegetables, legumes, eggs, cheese, and pasta. They may be served either cold or hot, often raw vegetables are added and many sweet fruits.
The word “salad” comes from the French “salade” which has the same meaning. The first appearance of the word “salad” was in the 14th century. Salt is also associated with salad because the vegetables were seasoned with a brine or a type of vinegar dressing. A simple “green salad” or “garden salad” is the most common to be consumed. It is composed of leafy vegetables such as lettuce varieties, spinach, and arugula cut into bite sized pieces. Due to their low caloric intake, salads are a common diet food. Other vegetables can be added to your “tossed salad” which includes; cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes, mushrooms, onions, carrots, nuts, and so many others too numerous to mention. That is what is so wonderful about a salad, you can make it your own by adding whatever you would like to your salad. There is no right or wrong, no special recipe, and you can use what is in season.
In my Italian family, there was never a dinner without a huge bowl of salad. My family would always say, that there was, “always room for salad.” Served along side our entrée or at the end of our meal, was mostly a green tossed salad with all the trimmings. An Italian vinaigrette dressing which consisted of the finest olive oil, Balsamic vinegar, and spices which were drizzled on top of the salad. It was so tangy and sweet at the same time. Preparing any kind of salad is easy especially now you can purchase pre-washed salad greens at the supermarket or by supporting your local farmer’s market. So, no matter what type of salad you make for lunch, brunch or dinner, remember enjoy, and make family memories together.
My recipe this week is from a cookbook I received for Christmas from my sister-in law, Lori. “The Pioneer Woman Cooks” This salad is called “Perfect Spinach Salad.” I have the pleasure to participate in my food blogger friend Louise‘s, “Months Of Edible Celebrations.” She is posting to her blog recipes that are taken from cookbooks, magazines, booklets, etc. on Wednesday as “Cookbook Wednesdays.” So stop over at her blog and tell her that I sent you...This dish is so yummy that you will want to make this everyday. So flavorful and easy to prepare. So enjoy a salad in the month of May and be creative with your ingredients.
“Perfect Spinach Salad”
Total Time: 1 hr
Prep: 15 min
Cook: 25 min
Yield: 6 servings
3 whole uncooked eggs
7 slices thick-cut peppered bacon
1 small whole red onion
1 package white button mushrooms
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 dash salt
8 oz baby spinach, washed, & dried
Variations: 1. Add 1 cup of grated Swiss Cheese to the salad.
2. Add 1 cup of Chicken or Turkey to the salad.
Place the eggs in a saucepan, cover with water and bring to a boil. Then turn off the heat and allow to sit in the water for 20 minutes. Drain off the water and add ice on top of the eggs. Fry the bacon in a skillet until crispy/chewy. Remove to a paper towel. Drain the fat into a bowl and reserve. Give the skillet a wipe with kitchen paper. Slice the red onion very thinly, and then add to the skillet. Cook slowly until the onions are caramelized and reduced. Remove to a plate and set aside. Slice the mushrooms and add them to the same skillet with a little of the reserved bacon fat if needed. Cook slowly until caramelized and brown. Remove to a plate and set aside. Chop the bacon. Peel and slice the eggs. Make the hot bacon dressing: Add 3 tablespoons of the reserved bacon fat, vinegar, sugar, Dijon and salt to a small saucepan or skillet over medium-low heat. Whisk together and heat thoroughly until bubbly. Add the spinach to a large bowl. Arrange the onions, mushrooms and bacon on top. Pour the hot dressing over the top; toss to combine. Arrange the eggs over the top and serve.
“Tips” For Naturally Cleaning With White Vinegar”
- Counter tops- clean with a rag and vinegar.
- Drain or garbage disposal- pour in 1 cup baking soda then one cup hot vinegar. Let sit for 5 minutes. Run hot water down the drain. (Note: some garbage disposals do not react well to this cleaning method check all manufacturer instructions first.)
- Microwave- mixing equal parts vinegar and water in a microwave-safe bowl. Bring it to a boil inside the microwave. Wipe clean.
- Refrigerator – clean with a half-and-half solution of water and vinegar.
- Dishwasher - pour a cup of vinegar inside an empty machine and run through cycle.
- Plastic food containers - wipe them with a cloth dampened with vinegar to remove stains and smells.
- Lunch Box – place inside a slice of bread that has been soaked in vinegar and leave overnight to remove odors.
- Mini Blinds - Dip gloved fingers into a solution of equal parts vinegar and warm tap water. Run your fingers across both sides of each blind.
- Tarnished Metal - make a paste with equal amounts of vinegar and table salt.
- Grease – use a sponge soaked in vinegar.
- Grill – spray a solution of half water and half vinegar on the cooking surface.
- Sponges – placing in just enough water to cover them. Then add 1/4 cup vinegar. Let soak overnight.
- Grout – let full-strength vinegar sit on it for a few minutes and scrub it with an old toothbrush.
- Germs – spray with full-strength vinegar. Wipe clean with a damp cloth.
- Toilets – pour in a cup or more of vinegar and let it sit several hours or overnight. Scrub well with the toilet brush and flush.
- Stale odors - wiping down with undiluted vinegar on a rag.
- Wood – remove water rings with a solution of equal parts vinegar and vegetable oil. Rub with the grain.
- Scissors – clean off sticky residue with a cloth dipped in vinegar.
- Odors – place a bowl of vinegar in the room overnight.
- Hands – Wipe your hands with vinegar to remove strong scents like onion and garlic, as well as stains from fruit juices.
- Cutting boards – wipe wooden boards with vinegar.
- Mildew – spray shower walls and shower curtain with half vinegar and half water to help prevent mildew.
Do not add vinegar directly to materials containing ammonia as this could produce harmful vapors. Never use white distilled vinegar on marble. The acid can damage the surface.
Till Next Time……
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