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Salad Tips

Because of the wide variety of salads and the large number of ingredients from which a selection may be made in their preparation, salads can be used for various purposes and should always be made into an attractive dish. Nothing is so unappetizing as a salad in which the ingredients have not been properly prepared, the garnish is not fresh and crisp, or the dressing and salad ingredients have been combined in such a way as to appear messy or stale looking. There is no excuse for such conditions, and they will not exist if proper attention is given to the preparation of the salad.

How to Fringe Celery:
Cut the stalks into pieces about two inches in length. Beginning on the round side at one end, with a thin, sharp knife, cut down half an inch as many times as possible; then turn the stalk half-way around and cut in the opposite direction, thus dividing the end into shreds, or a fringe. If desired, cut the opposite end in the same manner. Set aside in a pan of ice water containing a slice of lemon.

How to Shred Romaine and Straight Lettuce:
Wash the lettuce leaves carefully, without removing them from the stalk; shake in the open air, and they will dry very quickly; fold in the middle, crosswise, and cut through in the fold. Hold the two pieces, one above the other, close to the cutting board with the left hand, and with a sharp knife cut in narrow ribbons not more than a quarter of an inch wide.

How to Cut Cucumber Pickles for a Garnish:
Select small cucumber pickles of uniform size. With a sharp knife cut them, lengthwise, into slices thin as paper, without detaching the slices at one end; then spread out the slices as a fan is spread.

How to Cut Radishes for a Garnish:
Cut a thin slice from the leaf end of each; cut off the root end so as to leave it the length of the pistil of a flower. With a small, sharp knife score the pink skin, at the root end, into five or six sections extending half-way down the radish; then loosen the skin above these sections. Put the radishes in cold water for a little time, when they will become crisp, and the points will stand out like the petals of a flower.

How to Render Uncooked Vegetables Crisp:
Put into cold water with a bit of ice and a slice of lemon. When ready to use, dry between folds of tea cloth and let stand exposed to the air a few moments.

How to Clean Lettuce, Endive, Etc.:
A short time before serving cut off the roots and freshen the vegetables in cold water. Then break the leaves from the stalk; dip repeatedly into cold water, examining carefully, until perfectly clean, taking care not to crush the leaves. Put into a wire basket, colander, or into a cheese-cloth, and shake gently until the water is removed. Then spread on a plate (or keep in a colander) and set in a fridge or cool place until the moment for serving.

How to Use Garlic in Salads:
The salad-bowl may be rubbed with the cut surface of a clove of garlic, or a crouton may be used. A crouton, according to gastronomic usage, is a thin piece of bread rubbed on all sides with the cut surface of a clove of garlic and put into the salad-bowl before the seasonings. It is tossed with the salad and dressings, to which it imparts its flavor. It may be divided and served with the salad. Oftentimes, instead of one piece, several small cubes of bread are thus used.

How to Use Onion in Salads:
The salad-bowl may be rubbed with the cut surface of an onion. After that a slice of onion has to be removed. Another method is to use onion juice; the cut surface of the onion may be pressed with a rotary motion against a fine grater and the juice extracted; or a lemon-squeezer kept for this special purpose may be used.

How to Blanch and Cook Vegetables for Salads:
Cut the vegetables as desired, in cubes, balls, lozenges, juliennes, etc. Put over the heat in boiling water, and, after cooking three or four minutes, drain, rinse in cold water, and put on to cook in boiling salted water to cover. Drain as soon as tender.

How to Clean Wateress:
Pick over the stalks so as to remove grass, etc. Wash and dry in the same manner as the lettuce, but without removing the leaves from the stems, except when the stems are very coarse and large.

How to Clean Cabbage and Cauliflower:
Let cauliflower or cabbage stand head downwards half an hour in cold salted water, using a tablespoon of salt to a quart of water.

How to Keep Celery, Watercress, Lettuce, and Green Vegetables Without Fridge
Many green vegetables, celery in particular, discolor or rust, if allowed to stand longer than a few hours after being wet. When brought from the market they may be put aside, in a tightly closed pail, or in a paper bag, in a cool, dry place. By thus excluding the air they will keep fresh several days. A short time before serving put them into ice-cold water to which a slice or two of lemon has been added.

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Helpful Salad Tips

To have ready, dry and crisp greens for your salads.

Always wash all salad greens as soon as possible after they are purchased. Dry them well, and store in a plastic bag with a soft, white paper towel to absorb any extra moisture.

All root vegetables should be washed before peeling. Rinse them again after peeling.

For sweeter and crisper salad onions, soak onion slices in ice water for 30 minutes. Drain well and pat dry.

Never wash mushrooms until just before you use them. The best way to wash them is under a steady stream of lukewarm water. Avoid long soaking time. Trim or cut away the stem after washing to prevent extra absorption of water.

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