Salads consist mainly of greens that are usually eaten raw, seasoned with salt, oil, vinegar or lemon. In 1614 Giacomo Castelvetro had already devoted a long paragraph to salads in his book:” A short story about all the roots, the herbs and the fruits …. to explain how to prepare and dress salads and present his principle that he called “insalatesca” : – salads should be seasoned with the correct quantity of salt, little vinegar and a good amount of olive oil -.
Many authors dwell on the subject, testifying to the importance that in Italy is given to vegetables, their taste, their nutritional value. In medieval and Renaissance Italian texts, a salad is often suggested as the start of a meal, because it is considered “appetizing”, useful in stimulating the appetite: this custom, not used anymore, remains popular in other countries and is also being reintroduced in ours.
According to the family they belong to, vegetables are generally classified in “Brassicaceae”, “Cucurbitaceae”, “Solanaceae”, etc., So, for greater simplicity and clarity, it is preferable to group them according to the part of the plant that is used:
– The seed: beans, chickpeas, grass peas, lentils, soybeans, peas;
– The leaf: cabbage, chicory, endive, lettuce, curly salad, rocket, corn salad, spinach, Swiss chard, broad-leaved endive;
– the flower: broccoli, artichokes, Brussels sprouts, cauliflowers;
– The fruit: eggplants, peppers, tomatoes, pumpkins, courgettes;
– The stem: asparagus, fennel and celery;
– The bulb: garlic, onions, leeks, shallots;
– The tuber: potatoes, Jerusalem artichokes, cassava;
– The root: carrots, turnips, celeriac;
It’s useful to ask what are the raw vegetables that we should eat daily. The answer is to choose following one simple rule: to rebuild the plant in its entirety, namely: root, stem, leaf, fruit. Here is an example: root- carrots, leaf and stem: green salad and celery, fruit: tomatoes, peppers. In this way we will have absorbed the required amount of vitamins and minerals essential to our health.