Not every salad has leaves!
Salads, the history. Salt was and is such an important ingredient in salad dressings that the very word salad is based on the Latin word for "salt." Vulgar Latin had a verb *salāre, "to salt," from Latin sāl, "salt," and the pastparticiple form of this verb, *salāta, "having been salted," came to mean "salad."
After a weekend amongst friends I realised that there are a lot of people who just are not fans of the leaf! I think I understand the correlation between salad and rabbit food, as I too, in my younger days, liked only iceberg lettuce, finely chopped with a miniscule amount of red onion and possibly some cucumber on a good day. Fridays were Chinese, Thursday risotto, ( not a risotto to which I ve become accustomed ), but still, the best risotto I was going to eat for the next 18 years!, Cauliflower cheese thrown in there one day and a good old spaghetti bolognaise too, but Monday nights, were salad nights. So as my months/ years passed by with a very slight variation from week to week, salad days, were vaguely disappointing. If meal times had not been such a huge part of our family life, I would have preferred to watch Blakes 7 or Planet of the Apes and risked the potential of going to bed on an empty stomach.
So, from an early age I took to the stove. Followed in the foot steps of my grandmother who was a fiend in the kitchen and made things fun. One for you, One for the pot...one for you, one for the pot, you know how it is when your shelling peas. The fight for the wooden spoon with any cake mix idly dripping on or indeed the mixing bowl that had almost, but not quite, surreptitiously been scraped clean. However, hindsight being what it is, I now realise this fun and teasing, had a clever hidden agenda.The disguise.
The disguise.....anything cooked and left to go cold! That awsome BBQ chicken that we had the night before. Those left over jacket potatoes that are great with some Hellmans or Heinz salad cream, the left over blackened corn that was previously rolled in butter and parmesan or those left over nuts & cheese from the unexpected guests that popped over the night before.
I realise now that as I grew older, every summer holiday my "salads" and Monday nights were becoming rather more interesting than before. Grandma had, without the need to coerse or inforce me to eat salad, somehow managed to induce almost an impossible excitement over the prevailing Monday nights at the dinner table. Boomtown Rats, great song but just been whipped by Grandma.
I have continued to take a stand in making salads so much more interesting than just a leaf or two. Bbq s become so much more interesting and with todays supermarkets, along side my travelling and tasting along the roads chosen, I am bringing these ideas to the table. Watch this space and my recipes page and hopefully enjoy some of my ideas.