Today’s heightened concern about nutrition and healthy eating has made the salad more important than ever. We are fortunate to have available to us a variety of greens and dressings, limited only by our imaginations and appetites.
The different types of greens now available in most grocery stores offer many opportunities to experiment in combination with creamy or plain oil and vinegar dressings of many kinds. Most greens are even found locally in colder climates given the popularity of indoor growing including arugula, chicory, endive, mesclun, romaine, radicchio, and spinach among others.
It’s a pleasure to introduce myself to the readers of this column. I have been thinking about food since childhood when I helped my family grow vegetable gardens in Iowa, and later as a professor of cultural anthropology and as a private chef and caterer for families.
Food evokes many happy memories. My grandmother who lived with us during my childhood brought many recipes from her home in Eastern Europe to our new home in Iowa. She taught me to pickle cucumbers, make noodle pudding, and savor matzoh ball soup. Friends and colleagues introduced me to other culinary delights. My Indian friend Vivian introduced me to Tandoori chicken. I never heard of eggplant parmesan until my Italian friends introduced it to me. And southern-style BBQ became a special treat when I visited my best high school buddy, Sonny, who had moved to Iowa from Kansas City where cooking BBQ “low and slow” not grilled, was the norm.
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