National Salad Month

bread bowl for saladI have not always been a salad lover, though I really enjoy fruits and vegetables.  Growing up in Chicago, everything was a casserole.  As a child, I thought that the salad was just an extension of casserole, a dry, less then exciting, casserole.  Clean out the fridge – let’s make a casserole OR salad, uugh!
It wasn’t until that I became a mom, that I decided that I would turn around my detest of the salad in order to spare my daughter from the same pre-adulthood prejudice. 
On my quest to embrace the salad, I discovered that the salad is SO much more than grazing for greens on a plate. 
A few cool acts about the salad:
Food historians believe that the salad to been first enjoyed by the Ancient Romans and Greeks. 
Dinner salads, as we know them today, were popular during the Renaissance. 
During the 18th century, composed salads were layers of ingredients (think chef salad) and were called “salmagundi.”
The term “salad, is derived from the Latin sal (salt), which includes raw vegetables coated in oil, vinegar or salt. 
So, this month, in honor of the salad, I am having “salad clinics” where kids (recommended age 2-12) are encouraged to branch out and discover the wonderful variety and complexity of the salad.  This is what we will make this month.
                May 7: Carrot Salad
                May 15: Alligator Salad
                May 21: Cabbage Salad
                May 28: Taffy Apple Salad
Recommended reading:
101 Things to Do with a Salad by Melissa Barlow and Stephanie Ashcraft
Mediterranean Fresh : a Compendium of One-Plate Salad Meals and Mix-and-Match Dressings  by Joyce Goldstein ; photography by Andre Baranowski ; food styling by Melissa Hamilton ; foreword by Dan Barber ; wine essay by Evan Goldstein
Salad Days: Main-Course Salads for a First-Class Meal  by Marcel Desaulniers
Ladle, Leaf & Loaf : Soup, Salad, and Bread for Every Season by written and illustrated by Lisa Cowden
Salad for Dinner : Complete Meals for All Seasons by Jeanne Kelley ; photographs by Ryan Robert Miller
Salad as a Meal : Healthy Main-Dish Salads for Every Season by Patricia Wells
Salad People and More Real Recipes: a New Cookbook for Preschoolers & Up by Mollie Katzen