Your salad, that is.
When we think of eating a green salad, we automatically think about what kind of dressing we will put on it. Sometimes, the dressing contradicts the health benefits of eating a salad. So, why do we always seem to pair these two things together?
When salads first became popular, the quality, flavor and variety of produce were not always the best. Dressings were added to enhance flavor and appeal to what might be seen at the time as ‘rabbit food’. Various cultures also used dressings to impart their local flavors into what was considered a relatively tasteless but filling menu item. Over time, dressing on salad was a way to impart luxury and nutrition into something that was anonymous without it. Dressings were used to sweeten, mask, enhance, or change the flavor of the raw produce.
These days, green salad ingredients can be grown, harvested and eaten within a few days, if not hours, of harvesting. We are experiencing flavors in our produce that many of us have never tasted before.
At dinner last night, I decided to eat my fresh salad without dressing. The salad looked so appetizing; I just put my fork right in to the naked leaves. The tastes and textures were amazing. A prepared dressing or oil & vinegar toss would have detracted rather than enhanced. I sliced up a very ripe avocado, let it mingle with some of my canned organic tomatoes and tossed my greens in that, then added my favorite dried organic herbs. I didn’t miss the dressing (or the calories) at all! My salad tasted like each item in it. Flavor and texture are a revelation if you haven’t eaten a salad made with really fresh and locally grown organic produce!