Salad dressings may be divided into four general classes, - cream dressings, cooked egg dressings, mayonnaise (oil dressing), and French dressing. The dressing must be chosen to suit the ingredients of the salad, as its mission is to soften and mollify too decided flavors, or make more-ecided a flavor not sufficiently pronounced. The seasoning must be put into the dressing, and the salad materials and dressing so combined as to enhance rather than mar the beauty of the dish. Generally speaking, French dressing is best suited to such vegetables as lettuce, watercress, cucumbers and onions. Cream dressing suits best those things which harmonize with milk flavor, as cabbage, apples, beets, etc. Cooked dressing is palatable with most vegetables used for salads, but there are a few which are better with oil or mayonnaise dressing. Celery and tomatoes are notable examples of this class. All meat salads are more palatable when dressed with a mayonnaise than with a cooked dressing.
Utensils and Materials for Making Salad
Salads, especially when made of green vegetables, are very beneficial to the health, both on account of vegetable salts and acids which they furnish the system, and because they are crisp and cool, and furnish bulk in an agreeable form. In raw vegetables, the nourishment is all used. None is lost, as is often the case when vegetables are cooked. For every-day use, the simpler the dressing the better, much of the time. Frequently, salt, pepper, and vinegar are all that is needed. "Variety is the spice of life" applies to salads as well as to other things, and it is consequently better to use few materials at a time, even when making mixed salads, in order to have a greater variety.
A fish salad should always have a little lettuce or watercress cut into bits and mixed with the fish, and is often improved by the addition of boiled eggs chopped.
Mushrooms, both raw and cooked, are used as salads, though they are less desirable than many other vegetables.
A variety of flavors may be had by using tarragon vinegar, chervil, garlic, etc., when desired, in making salad dressings.