This section is from the book "Mrs. Allen's Cook Book", by Mrs. Ida C. Bailey Allen. See also: The Conscious Cook: Delicious Meatless Recipes That Will Change the Way You Eat.
No matter what type of salad is to be made, whether the plant itself is to form the base, or whether it is to be used merely as a garnish to the other ingredients, the salad plant must be crisp and thoroughly clean. Too much stress cannot be laid on the necessity of the latter, for the salad plant is not cooked, and every bit of dirt must be washed off, as it is a splendid harborage for disease germs.
The leaves should be entirely separated from the roots, washed in plenty of cold water, and then rinsed. The outside leaves should be separated from those that are more desirable, and should be shredded as a salad green, or used in soup, for they are too rich in minerals to be consigned to the garbage can. If ice is at hand, the washed and drained leaves should be put into cheesecloth bags, so that they will not fall out and clog the refrigerator drain, and be placed next to the ice. Or, if there is plenty of room, they may be crisped in one of the wire salad baskets so much used in Italy and recently introduced here. If no ice is at hand, wrap the salad loosely in paraffine paper, place it in a tightly-covered utensil, and set it in the coolest possible place. If the weather is not too warm, the green will keep for two days.