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Light, healthy, and easily tossed together, salads have been an herbaceous staple for as long as we have eaten food. Sometimes bitter, sometimes sweetladled over with buttermilk dressings or gently dressed in oil and vinegarthey come in an astonishing variety of forms and feature as both side and main dishes in a range of regional cuisines. In this book, Judith Weinraub celebrates the leafy life of the salad, traveling from Europe to the Americas and on to Asia to explore the crisp and nutritious delights they offer all around the world. As Weinraub shows, salads started as a simple assemblage of wild plants gathered from the hillsides, a necessary source of calories and a pleasant contrast to the gamey meats that usually comprised a meal. It was only in later centuries that their nutritional value became known, and they assumed their place as the quintessential health food. Over that time, we learned to lavish them with oils, vinegars, juices, creams, cheeses, seeds, nuts, fruits, and proteins, and we learned to give them special names: chef, cobb, and caesar, not to mention nioise, panzanella, and tabbouleh. Appetizingly written and freshly illustrated, this book will make a perfect accompaniment to any mealor a main course in itself.