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Salads 101

Cuisine Context

Similar to the seasoning guides, you will note that some of the categories are not mutually exclusive; onion as a vegetable ingredient might be duplicated by onion in the salad dressing (moisture). That's okay. The objective of this chart, as with all the others, is to show the potential of a type of dish.

Because a salad requires no cooking and can be as simple or as elegant as you want to make it, it's an easy finishing touch that helps move a meal from fuel to pleasure. And without the need for cooking, the time needed for preparation is measured in single-digit minutes.

To give a sense of the potential of a salad, Janet's Salad Grid (that follows) lists some of the many ingredients that can be used. If your image of a salad is lettuce and dressing, this might show just how far you can go—and these are only the most common ingredients!

A sure winner will always have a vegetable and a source of moisture, most often an acid and an oil such as vinegar and olive oil. Adding ingredients from other columns adds variety and interest.

Janet's Salad Grid
LettuceOlive oilParsleyCherriesHamAlmonds
MesclunCanola oilDillCranberriesChickenPeanuts
SpinachLemon juiceBasilGrapesShrimpWalnuts
TomatoesWine vinegarCilantroApplesSteakSoy
CucumbersCider vinegarChivesPearsMozzarellaPine
CarrotsBalsamic vinegarGarlicOlivesBlue cheese
AvocadosDressingsFennel Parmesan
CeleryOthersSugar Feta
Others Others Others

Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to 20-Minute Meals © 2003 by CWL Publishing Enterprises, Inc., John Woods, President. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

To order this book visit Amazon's website or call 1-800-253-6476.

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