This dressing is the most simple, and the best one to use with green salads for dinner. The proportions are one tablespoonful of vinegar to three of oil, one half teaspoonful of salt, and one quarter teaspoonful of pepper. Mix the salt and pepper with the oil; then stir in slowly the vinegar, and it will become white and a little thickened, like an emulsion. Some like a dash of paprica or red pepper. When intended for lettuce salad it is much improved by using a little tarragon vinegar with the wine vinegar. More oil may be used if preferred, but the mixture should be so blended as to taste of neither the oil nor the vinegar.
Use only the tender leaves. Let them stand half an hour in cold water to become crisp. Rub the inside of the salad bowl lightly with an onion. Wipe the lettuce leaves perfectly dry without bruising them, and arrange them in the bowl in circles, the heart leaves in the center. Sprinkle over them a teaspoonful of mixed tarragon, parsley, and chives, chopped fine; pour over the French dressing, and toss them lightly together. French lettuce salads always have chopped herbs mixed with them, and they are a great improvement to the salad. If all of them are not at hand, any one of them may be used alone. The salad should be put together only just before being served, or its crispness will be lost. Nasturtium blossoms, small radishes cut into flowers, or a few white chicory leaves may be used with plain lettuce salad.
Prepare the water-cress the same as lettuce, letting it become crisp in cold water, then drying it thoroughly. Mix it with French dressing. A few thin slices of sour apple with water-cress makes a good salad to serve with ducks.
A chopped hard-boiled egg sprinkled over the top of watercress is a good garnish, and improves the salad.
SALAD OF WATER-CRESS GARNISHED WITH RADISHES CUT TO RESEMBLE ROSES.
Wash and scrape the tender stalks of celery, cut them into one quarter inch pieces, or into straws two inches long, or cut them in pieces one and a half inches long, and slice them in small strips nearly to the end; place them in ice-water for a few minutes to curl them. Mix the celery with either French or Mayonnaise dressing, and garnish with lettuce leaves or celery tops.
Slice cucumbers and tomatoes into pieces of equal thickness, and lay them alternately around a bunch of white lettuce leaves. Pass separately either a French or Mayonnaise dressing, or both.