by Florence A Cowles and Florence LaGanke Harris
At the time of its publication in 1944, Florence A Cowles and Florence LaGanke Harris were not attempting to create a compendium of salads. Instead, they wished to shine a light on strategies that will help its reader to produce a well-balanced meal, identifying the elements that comprise a ‘perfect salad’ to achieve success: look, flavor, texture, temperature and ease.
400 Salads accomplishes the goals that it presents in the forward since the recipes fulfill all the components of a ‘perfect salad.’ The main body of the book shows the contemporary reader that there are indeed 400 variations of a simple dish, each with its own particular attributes and tasting notes.
However, 400 Salads goes beyond its elevation of salad-making to a professional level; it also communicates a desire to be remembered long after it was first published. In the forward, Cowles and Harris mention the posterity of this book, stating that recipes are meant to be shared beyond its particular historical moment. They believed in their strategies and the recipes’ capacity to adapt to modern times, a challenge I took up with great joy. I hope you enjoy making these adapted recipes as much as I enjoyed leafing through the pages of this cookbook, knowing that this is the legacy that Cowles and Harris wanted.