Of all the summer foods salads are perhaps the least understood. To many the word signifies only green, straggling, frequently bitter lettuce, served with a sweet-sour apology for something called a dressing. Again, it means the beloved of the delicatessen store and the church supper - the onion-filled, vinegar-soused, mushy mixture known as potato salad, or it conjures up a palate-picture of a varied number of fruits besprinkled with marsh-mallows, swathed in mayonnaise, and finished off with nuts. Alas, for the mistreated salad! Correctly made it is a healthful, nourishing and appetizing adjunct to the daily meals; improperly prepared, it had better be omitted from any menu.

Of course, the palate soon tires of a daily diet of any one salad plant, but when there are so many from which to make selection, all at about the same price, there is no excuse for monotony. Of the many plants comparatively little known, watercress, chicory, romaine, endive, corn salad and young dandelions offer a wide choice which may be supplemented by the more common lettuce, celery and cabbage. Then there are the wild salad plants as purslane, or "pusley," sorrel, young mustard, mint, or plantain described in the chapter on edible weeds.