This fennel, orange & kalamata olive salad has really changed things for me.
I never use to think much of salads, you see. I attribute this to being Italian, where the word salad is too often synonymous with leafy greens, tomatoes, extra virgin olive oil and vinegar. On wild and crazy days, we add a little bit of thinly-sliced red onion to the mix. Woo hoo.
And while this rather Spartan combination can be a perfectly nice and refreshing offering sometimes, when consumed too often it can become a little like riding Disney’s “It’s a Small World” ride 74 times in a row. When it’s 101°F. With 90 percent humidity. And you’re overdressed.
Too much of an ok thing, I’d say.
As it turns out, Italians have not strayed far from their cultural roots when it comes to salad. Dating back to Roman times, people foraged on mostly fresh greens topped with a dressing made of oil, vinegar and copious amounts of salt or some sort of brine solution. Because the resulting salads were very pungent, they became known as herba salata in Latin, which literally translates to ‘salted herb.’ That’s exactly how a plain salad begins to taste like when eaten too often!