May is National Salad Month

cartoon graphic of a young woman eating a bowl of salad

Salads have been eaten throughout history since the Roman Empire made them popular! The word “salad” comes from the Latin word sal (meaning: salt) that was used to season wild leafy greens.

Now salad is defined as a cold dish of various mixtures of raw or cooked vegetables, usually seasoned with oil, vinegar, or other dressing and sometimes accompanied by meat, fish, or other ingredients. However, there are many dishes that do not include leafy vegetables such as Jell-O, ambrosia, potatoes, eggs and pasta that are currently classified as salad.

In the 1950s a simple wedge of iceberg lettuce topped with Thousand Island dressing was the popular salad. A decade later, tossed garden salads rose in popularity during a back-to-nature trend and have continued to be a mainstay at tables. Due to a recent resurgence in healthy, locally-grown, farm-to-table dining, kale, arugula, pine nuts, pumpkin seeds and avocado have become common ingredients to modern tossed salads.

What are your favorite add-ins? Cheese, croutons, tuna, olives, sprouts? What’s your favorite salad? Waldorf, Cobb, Caesar, chef, coleslaw, egg, potato or taco? No matter how you prepare it, enjoy an extra salad or two during National Salad Month.

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