May is a time for trees and flowers to bloom and warmer temperatures to settle in, but it is also a time for another important event—National Salad Month! This event was created by the Association for Dressings and Sauces in 1992 and has been celebrated every May to honor our favorite mixture of greens and veggies.
The History of Salads
The word salad derives from the Latin phrase herba salta, which translates to “salted herbs.” Salads can be traced back through the Roman Empire, when the very first garden salads were made with leafy greens and fresh vegetables covered with salty oil dressings. After the fall of the Roman Empire, salad consumption declined but began to increase again during the Dark Ages and Medieval Era.
During the Renaissance period, people began experimenting with salads. Many began adding meat to salads in the late 17th Century, and both Coleslaw and fruit salad were born in the 1880s. In 1924, the Caesar salad was created by an Italian chef, Caesar Cardini, in Tijuana, Mexico. The cobb salad followed shortly after in 1926.
The Evolution of Dressings
Most of us can agree that salads are better with a little dressing. Even the earliest salads were topped with mixtures of oil, vinegar and spices. Babylonians tossed salads in oil and vinegar and Egyptians used mixtures of oil, vinegar and Asian spices. At the start of the 20th Century, Americans began using oil, vinegar or lemon juice and spices in dressings.
Celebrate National Salad Month With a Mici Salad
Today, salads come in all forms—greens, pasta, fruit and even jello. At Mici, like the Romans before us, we love our salads. Each of our salads are freshly made with wholesome ingredients and true Italian flavor. To celebrate National Salad Month, try out one of our freshly prepared salads:
- Insalata Della Casa: Our house salad is prepared with mixed greens, toasted walnuts, gorgonzola cheese, grapes and tossed with balsamic vinaigrette.
- Insalata Di Cesare: Like Caesar Cadini’s traditional recipe, our caesar salad is made with romaine lettuce, parmigiano-reggiano cheese, croutons and a delicious, creamy caesar dressing.
- Insalata Mista: In our traditional mixed salad, we combine mixed greens, tomatoes, carrots and zucchini, and you get to top it off with your choice of homemade Italian, ranch, balsamic vinaigrette or creamy gorgonzola dressing.
- Insalata Di Spinaci: Our spinach salad combines fresh spinach, pancetta, tomatoes and gorgonzola cheese with your choice of dressing.
- Insalata Antipasta: This delicious salad is a mixture of salami, ham, pepperoni, provolone, mozzarella, green olives, artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers, pepperoncini and tomatoes marinated in Italian dressing and served over mixed greens.
Remember, you can also follow in the footsteps of 17th century salad eaters and add grilled chicken to any of our salads, and in honor of greens and veggies, bring the family out to Mici to celebrate National Salad Month!