The Evolution of Salad

The evolution of Salad!

Refreshing bites of vegetables, fruits, meats, and cheeses, salads are a classic appetizer, side dish, and entrée today. Salads can be casual or formal depending upon what is being eating with them. Chopped! Cold! Hot! Salads are an excellent partner to any lunch or dinner year round. On your way to or from Union Station or Willis tower than stop by Lloyd’s Chicago and try our Signature chopped salads with crispy chicken, cheeseburger, or blackened Atlantic salmon.

The word “salad” comes from the Latin word herba salata meaning salted greens. True dressings appeared by the time of imperial Rome. The Romans garnished raw or cooked vegetables with fresh and dried herbs and topped them with vinegar and oil, which are staples of dressings today.   Before the development of supermarkets and mass quantities of fresh vegetables available to consumers, salads represented summer. Sun-ripened tomatoes, crisp lettuces, salt, pepper, vinegar and oil topped with fresh leafy basil a perfect array of summer’s bounty. As years went by so did the transformation of salads.

The makings of salad, whether simple or elaborate, the most important component is the quality of the ingredients. A salad displays ingredients at their prime. Old vegetables can be used to make stocks and stews to render leftover flavors. Therefore, a salad should showcase whatever vegetables are the freshest in the market on a particular day.

In Illinois, these fresh fruits and vegetables are at their peak during the summer months June-August:

-Apples, Artichokes, Green beans, Bell peppers, Berries, Cabbage, Carrots, Cherries, Eggplant, Garlic, Greens, Leeks, Lettuce, Melons, Nectarines, Onions, Peaches, Peas, Plums, Potatoes, Radishes, Rhubarb, Spinach, Squash, Strawberries, Tomatoes, Turnips

The tie that binds a salad into a whole is the dressing. In most cases, the dressing is nothing more than a vinaigrette, an emulsion of olive oil and vinegar or lemon juice, and salt/pepper. You may prefer a silky, thick mayo or cream based dressing such as chipotle ranch, creamy garlic, or blue cheese. Lloyd’s Chicago, across from the Lyric opera house, offers homemade dressings to top any side, entrée, or appetizer salad. What to drink with your salad? A rose or a simple young red wine like a California Zinfandel can provide a friendly competition of tastes. If the salad includes meat, fish, chicken, eggs, or cheese, than you may want to try a craft beer or a California Chardonnay.

Salads can be simple or complex but overtime has become an American comfort food. Lloyd’s Chicago offers variations of the salad from appetizer to side dish to entrée and follows the rules when preparing them.

  1. Use fresh and prime vegetables
  2. Add homemade dressings
  3. Top with fresh seafood, steaks, or chicken.
  4. Pair with mild rose or craft beers

Enjoy our salads for lunch or dinner at Lloyd’s Chicago, restaurant & banquets. See you soon!