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What Are the Different Types of Salads without Lettuce?

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  • Written By: Andrea Cross
  • Edited By: PJP Schroeder
  • Last Modified Date: 23 November 2016
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Salad, although an extremely popular dish in North America and elsewhere, is very difficult to define due to the extreme variety in the combination of ingredients. Typically, the word salad conjures up images of a bowl full of leafy greens; however, numerous types of salad that have never included a lettuce leaf are consumed regularly. Salads without lettuce in North America include those made entirely from vegetables or fruit, bound salads, and pasta salads. There are even salads that can be eaten for dessert.

Vegetable salads without lettuce include a variety of vegetables and usually a dressing. The vegetables included vary, with common examples including tomato, cucumber, and carrots, which are chopped into bite-sized pieces and mixed with a dressing that is usually either oil-and-egg or oil-and-vinegar-based. Vegetable salads are most commonly eaten as a cold lunch or supper dish or as a side. Fruit salads are composed of a variety of fresh or canned fruits and may include melon, grapes, and citrus fruits, among others. Usually eaten cold as a breakfast, snack. or dessert dish, a fruit salad typically does not include a dressing.

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Bound salads have ingredients that are bound together by an oil-and-egg-based dressing. Ingredients usually include a main protein, such as meat, fish, or eggs, and may also include vegetables or fruit, such as spring onions or raisins. The most common binding sauce for this type of salad is mayonnaise. Bound salads are typically used as filler for sandwiches rather than eaten on their own. Potato salad, an exception, is a popular bound salad enjoyed as a warm or cold side dish.

Pasta salads are also common types of salads without lettuce. All shapes and varieties of pasta are used, although they tend to be smaller, bite-sized types such as macaroni. Exceptions to this are noodle salads, which popularly come with Asian-inspired ingredients and dressings. Pasta salads typically include some form of dressing, whether cream or vinegar-based. Generally eaten as a lunch, supper, or side dish, people enjoy these salads warm or cold.

Although salad is not often considered a dessert item, gelatin salads continue to be popular. These salads without lettuce include pieces of fruit or cake suspended in a jelly. A variety of molds are available to shape these salads, and because common gelatin is used, they can be made in a wide variety of colors. Served normally at parties, a gelatin salad often provides a fun, colorful, and wobbly centerpiece for other party fare. Popular since the Victorian era, they enjoy periodic resurgences and innovations.

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chivebasil
Post 3

I could eat pasta salad every day of my life. It has everything, pasta, veggies, sometimes meats, and always a great dressing. It is a full meal in one perfect side dish.

I have tried dozens of different pasta salad recipes but I am always on the hunt for more. What are your guys favorite? I am willing to get really creative so hold nothing back. I tried one recently with beets in it and it was delicious.

clippers
Post 2

I think this qualifies as a salad. I love to make cole slaw and other kinds of slaw. There are more variations than you would expect and many of them are not the gooey mess of mayonnaise that you are probably thinking of.

Some use vinegars and oils as a dressing rather than mayo. Other use tofu or yogurt or other lighter substitutes to make up for the creaminess of the mayonnaise.

Ivan83
Post 1

I love a good spinach salad. Spinach is one of the healthiest foods you can eat and also one of the tastiest green vegetables. But what is best about spinach salads is that they can be prepared in the same way as the most boring lettuce salad, or they can incorporate lots of delicious and creative ingredients that might never go with lettuce.

I like to make one with goat cheese, pine nuts and dried cranberries. If those were on iceberg it would be gross. But paired with the strong sharp spinach leaves they are delicious.

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