Hundred-year-old Salad Suggestions

Source: Larkin Housewives’ Cook Book (1915)

Since I’m always on the outlook for great salads. I was thrilled to find these hundred-year-old salad suggestions.

What makes a salad special? I’m constantly surprised by the wide variety of salads on restaurant menus. There are traditional green salads, salads with lots of interesting veggies, dried or fresh fruits, nuts, pastas and grains.  And, the base of the salad it just the beginning. There are so many wonderful dressings from simple vinaigrette to heavy mayonnaise-based dressings. But this hundred-year-old list makes me realize that there are also some salad options that (for better or worse) I seldom see in modern salad recipes. When is the last time you had a Maraschino cherry in a salad . . . or, for that matter, bananas?


15 thoughts on “Hundred-year-old Salad Suggestions

  1. When I think of salad, I think first of greens and veggies, and then of tuna/egg/chicken salads. Fruit salad’s on the list, of course. With such variety, I wondered where we got the word itself, and which of the “salads” it first referred to. Look what I found in the Online Etymology Dictionary:

    [The word salad dates to the] “late 14c., from Old French salade (14c.), from Vulgar Latin salata, which is literally “salted”: short for herba salata, “salted vegetables” — vegetables seasoned with brine, a popular Roman dish.”

  2. My grandmother made a salad with iceberg lettuce leaves, sliced banana, a blop of mayo, and a sprinkling of chopped walnuts. It still sounds kind of icky to me, after all these years . . . .

    1. omg, I grew up in the 50s-60s and wouldn’t touch a tomato until I was an adult. This is exactly the salad my mom gave me (I was a fussy eater and THIS is what I finally ate??) Only there were no walnuts and we used “poor man’s Russian dressing” : half mayo and half ketchup. I trot out this anecdote whenever the topic comes up, and never (until now) have I seen anyone know what I was talking about. (Yes, the ick factor is definitely there! But not when I was ten years old.)

  3. I have a recipe card I created by myself with a friend of mine. (We were maybe 11 or 12?). It’s called “Secret Salad a la M.J.” (I’m the M, and she’s the J in case you’re wondering!) I still have it in my recipe box. I’d give it out, except that it’s “secret”. (To tell the truth, it’s nothing special, but we somehow felt the need to write it down!)

  4. I love salads of any kind, but some of the suggestions here are beyond me, especially the marshmallows. I wonder who was the first to add them to salads and why? It’s not even a vegetable or fruit… 🙂

  5. This set of suggestions refers to boiled dressing. Weird coincidence, but I was just reading a James Beard cookbook, in which he referred to boiled dressing in a way that seemed to assume that reader would know what he was writing about. What is boiled dressing?

  6. I must have ingenuity! I often make a salad with what is at hand, and that includes bananas. Some of my ingenious salads taste better than others, I must confess.

  7. The combination I wouldn’t have thought of was egg, celery and ???walnuts. Sometimes I think it is good that tastes have changed. 🙂

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