I like salad. All kinds. I’ll eat salad with fruit, nuts, meats, fish, seafoods, vegetables common and uncommon. I like all kinds of dressings as well, though I prefer a salad with a tiny bit of dressing and a thorough tossing to a fat glop of dressing sitting on top.
I do not find anything charming about iceberg lettuce; I think it’s backwards. I don’t think of it as retro or ironic; I don’t appreciate it as leaves or as a wedge. Given my strong feelings about iceberg lettuce, however, it does not make my Top 5 List of salad components that I hate.
Given in countdown form, here are the Top 5 things not to put on my salad. Remember, your list may be quite different than mine, so I would encourage you to share your own list in the comments.
5. raisins I used to like raisins, or at least I didn’t used to mind them. Then one day in college my pledge brother came into the fraternity living room excited about the chocolate chip cookies our cook had made. We went into the kitchen, and he pointed out the tray and… it wasn’t chocolate chip, it was raisin. I was disappointed, of course, but I finished it. By this point I was pretty committed to tasting a warm chocolate chip cookie, so I looked to my pledge brother. He said the one that he had eaten was chocolate chip, and to take a cookie from the other half of the tray, where he had drawn a chocolate chip one. So I followed his instructions and bit into…. another raisin cookie. My third attempt was also raisin. As was my fourth. The fifth cookie, my pledge brother picked out for me, and to my outrage, it was also RAISIN. What a dirty, dirty trick. Now I was full of five raisin cookies, and terribly disappointed that I never got my chocolate chip. I held that against him for a long time, and my distaste for the taste of raisins persists to this day.
4. feuilles de pissenlit Greens in French have colorful, fanciful, whimsical names. “Pissenlit” sounds like one of these words, but as I look at it now and try to break it down etymologically, it looks like “wet the bed.” As in “piss in the bed.” Which is unpleasant. I never learned to enjoy the bitter, hairy taste of feuilles de pissenlit when I was in France, and it didn’t help that when I found out the American word, I realized it was something that I associated with yard work. “Pissenlit” in English is “dandelion.” And it doesn’t belong in my salad.
3. beets Sorry mama. The beet is the liver of the garden.
2. frisée I have a very simple rule that all components of a salad should be edible.
1. raspberry vinaigrette Repellent. I would sooner dress my salad with fabric softener.
Apart from that, I’m not really picky.