A menu is always incomplete without the inclusion of “salads”. Referred to as the “king of the dishes” in some cultures, this healthy dish is a must-have on all occasions. Salads have been part of human meal-plan for years, dating back to the times of Roman civilization. Salads do not have a well-defined constitution or pattern. They are completely made as per the chef’s wish and the style of the menu. Though doled out as an appetizer on most occasions, salads can also be served as side dishes, main course, palate cleansers or desserts. Salads are most popular today as healthy diet foods and include everything from green leafy vegetables to boiled sting ray tails. The constituents of salad such as, dressing, seasoning and presentation, differ from region to region. Many of the international food chains, who in the last century catered to junk food only, have now started to dispense readymade salads in order to woo the health junkies. Though there are unlimited varieties of salads, we can broadly classify salads into six categories based on different bases used and dressings. Let’s take a closer look at these salad types and mark their distinguishing features.
Different Kinds Of Salads
Also known as green salads or tossed salads, these are mostly for the vegan taste buds, but there are exceptions. The name comes from the fact that the salad appears to be completely green, as majority of ingredients used are leafy veggies. The salad can be divided into two parts - the base and dressing. The base can be any leafy vegetables, such as lettuce or cabbage, while the dressing can be of any type. The common dressing types are ranch dressing, honey mustard, Italian dressing, Thousand Island dressing, French dressing, or blue cheese dressing. These salads are very low in carbohydrate content and are known as perfect diet foods. They can be either tossed or pre-arranged in specific shapes.
The difference between vegetable salads and garden salads is that the former utilizes all kinds of vegetables, not just the green ones. vegetable salads don’t necessarily appear green. Common vegetables involve carrots, cucumbers, onions, tomatoes and radishes. Moreover, lot of external ingredients, such as mashed potatoes, pasta, olives, eggs, cheese, meat or even shrimps, can be added to the salad. However, this type of salad is largely vegan and thus the name. Vegetable salads are also mostly used for starters.
Like the name suggests, these types of salads are bound to stay together. These salads are made of simple bases, but the dressing used is thick and binding. Mostly, thick sauces like mayonnaise are used as the dressing. If a portion of a bound salad is served on plate, it will not change its shape or décor. Bound salads can always be prepared and stored for later, which makes them perfect for picnics and barbeques parties.
Dinner salads are also known as Entrée salads. They are mostly non-vegetarian and contain chicken pieces and seafood such as shrimps or prawns. Fish steak such as tuna or salmon can be utilized too. Sliced pieces of meat can again be used to dress the salad or be used as toppings. They are considered as main courses and are heavy intake. Examples for this type of salad are Caesar’s Salad and Greek Salad.
These are pretty common delicacies which involve fruits instead of vegetables. Fruit salads are very sweet in taste and can be made from fresh or canned fruit. The fruit contained in fruit salads is in larger pieces than in fruit cocktails. However, the recipe for the two is mostly similar. Sometimes fruit salads are dressed with ice creams or syrups.
They are again sweet salads that serve as desserts. Dessert salads are considered as salads not by constituents they contain, but by the way of presentation. Such salads mostly employ jellies, whipped creams, wafers and some fruits as their major ingredients.