Learn the origins and ingredients of these healthy dishes
Salads are one of the most popular dishes in the world, given that each cuisine has its own version of this healthy food. They have survived the centuries, and the first representations of salads can be found in Egyptian tombs that date to 4,500 B.C.
The most ancient versions of salads were usually comprised of a mix of raw vegetables dressed with oil, vinegar, or salt. This is where they get their name, which derives from the latin word “salata” or “herba salata”, translating to salted greens.
The salad has evolved over time and now we can find endless varieties of the “herba salata” that was prepared by ancient civilizations.
Discover the 10 Most Popular Salads in the World
One of the most popular salads, the mixed salad is a traditional Spanish dish, though you can find similar versions in other countries.
The mixed salad is made from a base of lettuce and, though it can contain a wide variety of ingredients, tomato and onion are also essential.
Aside from these elements, mixed salads can also contain corn, carrots, olives, beets, cucumber, and hardboiled egg or tuna, among others ingredients.
This salad is usually served as an appetizer or to accompany the main dish, most commonly at meat and fish barbecue restaurants.
Despite its name, Russian salad was not created by the Russians, but rather by a French chef with Belgian origins, Lucien Olivier, who served this invention at his restaurant El Ermitage in Moscow.
It has become a staple dish in many Latin American and European countries, Spain included, where it is very common to find it served as the tapa of the day.
You can find a plethora of recipes for this dish, but it is more and more common to find this salad in restaurants made with potatoes, tuna, and, in some cases, carrots. Another essential element is mayonnaise.
Though often associated with Italian food, the Caesar salad was created by an Italian American in his restaurant Caesar’s Restaurante-Bar, in Tijuana, Mexico. Caesar Cardini invented this dish in an attempt to use up leftover food on a busy day at his locale.
The original version of the salad was made of Romaine lettuce, parmesan cheese, and egg yolks, but nowadays it typically contains croutons, crunchy bacon, and a creamy dressing that often times is made with anchovies.
This Italian salad originated on the island of Capri. It is a very simple dish that only uses ingredients typical of the region. Additionally, it is comprised of the colors of the Italian flag: red, green, and white.
To make a caprese salad, you only need fresh tomato, fresh mozzarella cheese, fresh basil, extra virgin olive oil, salt, and black peppers. You can also add balsamic vinegar for a touch of acidity.
Originally known as the “horiatiki” salad, meaning village in Greek, the Greek salad is a combination of some of the most typical foods of the region. It is a dish that is commonly prepared in summer months, given that this is when the majority of its ingredients are in season.
The most traditional version of the Greek salad doesn’t contain lettuce, but rather is made with tomato, cucumber, black olives, onion, Feta cheese, extra virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar, oregano, and salt. However, you can make many versions of this dish, like a Greek salad with quinoa.
The Waldorf salad receives its name from the hotel where it was invented, the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York. The recipe is attributed to the Maitre D’ of the establishment at the end of the 19th century, Oscar Tschirky.
It is a very simple dish, and its original recipe was made with just apples, diced celery, and mayonnaise. However, nowadays it is common to add walnuts and lettuce.
Another Italian recipe, Panzanella is a Tuscan salad that was created to use up stale bread. The original version also included onion, garlic, and olive oil.
Nowadays, it is common to add fresh produce like tomatoes, cucumber, and basil to the salad, along with red wine or balsamic vinegar, and, if desired, mozzarella cheese.
Coleslaw, a type of Dutch cabbage salad, is a recipe that European immigrants brought with them when immigrating to the United States in the 20th century. However, its true origins can be traced back to Ancient Rome, where a similar dish was commonly prepared with cabbage, vinegar, eggs, and spices.
Coleslaw can be made many ways, but it always contains cabbage. The most common recipes also include shredded carrot, mayonnaise, and oftentimes vinegar.
It has French origins, but the Niçoise salad is now consumed all around the world. It gets its name from the region in which it was invented, the city of Nice on the Cote d’Azur.
Fish is incredibly important for this salad, given that it originates from a coastal region. It can be made with tuna or anchovies (but never both), along with tomato, hardboiled egg, black olives, and lettuce. The dressing is made with olive oil, lemon juice, and garlic. Other common ingredients are capers, green beans, artichokes, and basil.
Tabbouleh is one of the most important dishes of the Levantine countries, specifically Lebanon and Syria, where it is typically served as an appetizer. It is an incredibly healthy dish, given that one of its main ingredients is bulgur, a whole wheat grain very rich in fiber.
Tabbouleh also contains summer produce like parsley, mint, tomato, and onion. The dressing is comprised of olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
The list of salads is endless, considering that each region has its own version of the dish, but these 10 recipes are the most popular salads in the world.