Since earliest times people have harvested wild leafy plants,
especially in spring, when they were young and tender. Some of
the wild plants available to early foragers were wild celery, chervils,
cresses, and parsley. Salads were among the first cultivated plants
that people grew in their gardens.
In pre-Roman times, people in England enjoyed beet greens. The
Roman occupation brought lettuces, cucumbers, carrots, endive and
sorrel. Medieval monks planted them among the herbs in their gardens,
and Renaissance gardeners developed new varieties and produced
them in greater quantities.
The word “salad” comes from the Latin word “herba
salta” or “salted herbs,” so called because such
greens were usually seasoned with dressings containing lots of
salt. Early American colonists called it “sallet.” They
brought their favorite seeds to the New World, established kitchen
gardens, and dined on their seasonal treasures. The first German-American
herbal, printed in 1777, included 35 plants used as salads.
During the late 19th Century, the concept of salads expanded.
At first the most daring addition was the fresh tomato, long suspected
by some Americans and Western Europeans as dangerous when eaten
raw. Fruit salads followed , and by the end of the century, potato,
egg, or chicken salads in fancy presentations flourished.
The modern salad bar probably first emerged in the late 1960s.
Head, Honor, Salad (On Your Plate), Franklin Watts, 2007. (Grades PreK-3)
Introduces young children to the variety of food we eat, including where it comes from and how it is prepared and cooked.
Katzen, Molly, Salad People and More Real Recipes: Cookbook for Preschoolers and Up, Tricycle, 2005. (Grades PreK-3)
Kid-friendly recipes with detailed, step-by-step instructions for adults with a second set of instructions for kids. Includes color pictures of dancing produce. All the recipes have been preschooler-tested.
Salas, Laura Purdie, Lettuce Introduce You:
Poems About Food,
Capstone, 2008. (Grades PreK-2)
This fun assortment of poetry explores nutrition
through a variety of poetry formats.
Stevens, Janet, Tops & Bottoms, Harcourt Brace, 1995. (K-4)
Hoping to rise
above his level of poverty, clever Hare strikes a deal with a rich
and lazy bear in which Bear will contribute the land while Hare
will provide the labor for a profitable harvest.
Oklahoma Ag in the Classroom is a program of the Oklahoma
Cooperative Extension Service, the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture,
Food and Forestry and the Oklahoma State Department of Education.