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Dec 4, 2008 08:59 AM

Soaked Salad

As a school kid in New Orleans, the cafeteria ladies would serve us a salad called "soaked salad" I remember it was soaked in dressing and wilted. The dressing was loaded in fresh garlic and I think basil. Does anyone remember this salad? What was the salad dressing recipe?

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  1. My public school (not in NOLA) served no such concoction (though it did have killer yeast rolls). A good source for odd NOLA recipes is the Entergy "Woodstoves to Microwaves" cookbook (in libraries)--or try writing to Judy Walker of the Times-Pic--she has the Exchange Alley recipe-swap column on Thursdays. I'll bet some former lunch lady out there knows exactly what you're talking about.

    1. don't remember that sald, only that on grass cutting day we were served greens...hmmm

      3 Replies
      1. re: edible complex

        Same here, at St. Anthony, whenever they cut the grass we always had spinach the next day.
        With regards to the salad, I don't recall that, but my wife would have loved it, she buys a salad at a rest. then lets it sit in the fridge overnight before touching it so it's nice and soggy.

        1. re: roro1831

          I guess every elementary school kid had the same association: grass cutting = spinach in the cafeteria.

        2. re: edible complex

          You may be thinking of a wilted lettuce salad. My mom made them when I was a child with hot bacon dressing. You should be able to do a string search on the net and look up wilted lettuce salad. I recall she used bacon drippings, vinegar, iceberg (now I wouldn't eat it but 25 - 30 years ago that was all there was) and boiled eggs and poured the dressing on top. We loved it. Try allrecipes or Epicurious. Good luck.

        3. We had the same salad, koogle and we loved it.
          My sister still lets her salad wilt to this day!

          It was your basic Italian vinegarette. Iceberg & tomatoes.

          Where did you go to school? I was at St. Joseph's in Old Gretna.
          We had killer lunches - yes, yeast rolls too that were to live for!

          Grandmas, aunts & mamas were the cafeteria staff - most of Italian, French & Spanish descent. I'd love to have a codfish cake lunch with wilted salad & a yeast roll.
          I'll ask one of the daughters (she's in her '70's now) what her mama put in the salad.

          1. I was looking for this salad and found this. It didn't have bacon and it wasn't hot. It DID have green olives in it and a bunch of garlic. I went to Alice B Hart in the 70's, and I helped the lunch ladies make it. Wish I had the recipe though...

            1. Old-Fashioneed Soak Salad Recipe
              2 heads lettuce greens, preferably different kinds (romaine, Boston, Iceberg or curly top)
              2 large medium-ripe Creole tomatoes (beefsteak or Jersey)
              1/2 cup sliced olives
              6 tablespoons olive oil
              1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
              1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
              1/2 teaspoon salt
              1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
              1/8 teaspoon granulated sugar
              1 teaspoon finely minced garlic
              1 tablespoon finely minced fresh parsley
              1/2 teaspoon dried basil or 1 tsp minced fresh basil

              Wash and dry lettuce. Wash tomatoes, pare ends and cut into chunks. Place in a large stainless steel, porcelain or plastic bowl.
              in a small bowl, combine olive oil, wine vinegar, lemon juice and seasonings; whisk with a wire whisk or fork to combine in an electric blender. Pour over salad and toss to mix thoroughly. It’s OK to bruise the chunks of tomato a bit; their juice is an important part of the dressing. Just don’t mash them.
              Cover salad bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
              Serve in individual salad or dessert bowls and spoon about 2 tasblespoons of the liquid from the bottom of the salad bowl over each portion.