Use nuts as a garnish, or as an accompaniment to salads instead of mixed with them, as they become tough quickly after touching the dressing. Coarse chopped nuts may be sprinkled over the salad just as it goes to the table.
Vegetables for salads must be crisp, tender and dry.
Gather lettuce early in the morning, put it into a closed pail or a paper sack and leave in the refrigerator for a few hours; or if it comes from the market slightly wilted, cover it at once with ice water until revived. Never allow the wind to blow upon lettuce. Crisp, by allowing it to stand in ice water after washing until just before serving, then drain and shake in a wire basket or in mosquito netting, cheese cloth or a netted bag.
Always cut celery, never chop it. wipe it dry before cutting and if possible, roll in a dry towel a moment after cutting.
Unless cabbage is shaved thread-like it is better to be chopped.
In cooking carrots for salads, drain them when about half done and add boiling water to finish cooking.
Dip ripe tomatoes quickly into perfectly boiling water, lift them out and drop into cold water, change the water two or three times if ice is not at hand, set them in a cold place, and peel just before serving.
It is seldom suitable to serve fruit salads with lettuce; some glass dish with decorations of leaves, vines and flowers is prettiest.
As a rule, do not mix many kinds of fruit in one salad. One flavor often destroys another.
Many of the fruit salads are suitable for desserts.
Cut oranges in about the middle of the section or just each side of the membrane, leaving that out if convenient; then cut into pieces crosswise.
Cut grape fruit in halves, then around the inside next to the skin, and after removing the pulp, carefully separate it from the membrane.
For most salads, bananas are better cut into quarters lengthwise, then sliced across.
Pare, quarter and core choice, fine flavored apples, one at a time, cut the quarters into not too thin lengthwise slices, place three or four of the slices together and cut across into small wedge-shaped pieces. Never chop apples for salad. Both apples and bananas should be prepared just as short a time before the meal as possible and should be cut right into the dressing. After being coated with the dressing they will not turn dark.
Shred fresh pineapple according to directions, p. 44. For nut and cream dressings cooked pineapple is preferable. After draining and drying canned sliced pineapple, lay two or three of the round slices together and cut into wedge-shaped pieces about 1/4 inch across at the large end.
Keep orange, lemon, grape fruit or tangerine cups in cracked ice or ice water until just before serving, then drain and wipe dry.
The edges of the cups may be pointed or scalloped, and if cups are large the points may be cut deep, and then rolled down. Apple cups may be kept in the same way, or the cut surface may be coated with dressing.
We marinate or pickle some ingredients by mixing them with lemon juice, with or without salt, or with French dressing, a short time before serving. Drain if necessary, before adding the dressing.
A wooden spoon which is used for nothing else is best for stirring dressings while cooking. Dip in cold water and wipe it just before using and wash in cold water immediately after.
Sour cream may be substituted for sweet cream in all dressings; a little less lemon juice is required.
One-third water may be used with lemon juice for dressings if too sour.
Use plenty of salt in dressings for people accustomed to mustard and pepper.
For uncooked dressings all the ingredients and utensils should be as nearly ice cold as possible.
For salads with eggs, tomatoes or cabbage, a larger proportion of lemon juice and salt is required, and with tomatoes a little sugar is an improvement.