Of the many varieties of food daily consumed, none are more important than a salad, rightly compounded. And there is nothing more exasperating than an inferior one. The salad is the Prince of the Menu, and although a dinner be perfect in every other detail except the salad, the affair will be voted a failure if that be poor. It is therefore necessary for those contemplating dinner-giving, to personally overlook the preparation of the salad if they wish favorable criticism.
To become a perfect salad-maker, do not attempt too much at first; practise on plain salads and plain dressings before you try combination salads, fancy dressings, and elaborate garnishings, and you will soon become proficient in the art. Do not prepare plain salads until the moment they are wanted at table. Should they be mixed long before they are served, you will find the lettuce flabby and the dressing watery and insipid.
The importance of using none but the purest condiments must not be overlooked, for a perfect salad cannot be made with inferior ingredients. Garnishing or decorating salads presents an opportunity for displaying artistic taste and judgment. The most deliciously blended salad will not be appreciated unless it is attractive in appearance. No exact rule can be laid down for garnishing; much depends on the judgment and good taste of the salad maker. Original ideas are commendable. Wild flowers neatly arranged with alternate tufts of green are very pretty during warm weather. During cold weather garnish with pretty designs cut from beets, turnips, radishes, celery, etc.