Wartime Recipes ~ Salads

These recipes are taken from the Ministry of Food leaflets issued in the United Kingdom during the Second World War.

Further details can be found in the Rationing Section.

Picture of salad leaflets7th May, 1940

Use vegetables as fresh as possible and prepare the salad just before it is required, as chopped and grated vegetables and fruit quickly loose their vitamins.

Vegetables to use in salads: Finely shredded raw cabbage hearts, savoy, spinach, sprouts, chopped cauliflower, watercress, raw grated swede, turnip, beetroot, carrot, cooked potato and beetroot.


There is hardly a root or green vegetable that does not deserve a place in a salad. Use them raw whenever you can. A good mixed salad with wheatmeal bread and a little grated cheese makes a complete meal. So serve and enjoy a salad or raw vegetable sandwich every day.

When making salads, touch the plants as little as possible. Use directly after picking or buying. If this is not convenient a saucepan, with a well-fitted lid, placed on a cool floor is excellent for keeping a salad crisp.

Just before serving, wash carefully, shake off the water gently and dry the plants in a clean cloth or wire salad basket. Outside leaves can be saved for soup.

Root vegetables, such as carrots, should be washed and scrapped lightly before grating, but the thicker skins of turnips call for peeling.

Spring Salads

  1. Make a thick bed of chopped raw cabbage heart in your bowl. In the centre, pile a teacup of grated raw white turnip. Round this centre arrange smaller piles of grated raw carrot and grated raw beetroot, using a teacupful of each. Decorate with radishes and parsley.
  2. Shred 1/2 lb. young turnip tops. Mix with 1 breakfastcup diced cooked potato and 1 breakfastcup cooked beetroot. Put into a bowl and decorate the top with 1 large fresh grated carrot and sprigs of watercress or dandelion leaves.
  3. Young dandelions make a delightful salad by themselves. Cut of the roots, wash the clusters of leaves well, dry in a cloth and toss in a vinaigrette dressing. For a more substantial salad, add fresh grated parsnip or grated swede, and a few chopped spring onions.

Summer Salads

  1. Line a bowl with crisp lettuce leaves. Mix together 1 breakfastcup cooked peas, 1 breakfastcup diced potato and 1 breakfastcup diced cooked carrot. Pile this mixture in the bowl and serve with mint sauce.
  2. Line a bowl with crisp lettuce leaves. Put in a breakfastcup cooked broad beans, a breakfastcup fresh grated carrots and a medium sized cucumber, diced. Decorate with a few nasturtium leaves and parsley.
  3. Mix together a breakfastcup cooked runner beans cut into 1 in. lengths and breakfastcup diced cooked potato and a large lettuce shredded. Decorate with sliced tomato and a few chopped spring onions, if possible.

Autumn Salads

  1. Break a cauliflower into neat sprigs and steam them or boil in very little salted water. When cold, arrange on a bed of lettuce leaves with a breakfastcup of cooked sliced potatoes. Decorate with parsley, a sliced tomato, or cooked beetroot.
  2. Allow 1 cooked round beetroot for each person. Hollow out the centre and fill with a mixture of chopped apple or pear and chopped celery, moistened with a little mayonnaise. Arrange the beetroots on a bed of green salad (lettuce, chopped cabbage heart, watercress or spinach) and surround with little heaps of fresh grated carrot, diced cooked potatoes and the beetroot centres, diced.
  3. Wash and dry young celery leaves. Toss them lightly in vinaigrette dressing and serve with diced cooked beetroots, or grated raw beetroot, whichever you prefer. Serve with a potato salad made as follows: Boil the potatoes in their skins. Peel while still hot, cut into slices and mix well with whichever dressing you prefer. A little chopped spring onion mixed with the potato is a great improvement. When quite cold, sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve.

Winter Salads

  1. Make 3 tablespoons of vinaigrette dressing in your bowl. Put in 2 teacups of shredded raw cabbage heart and 1 teacup each of diced cooked potato, apple and celery cut into ½ in. lengths. Turn over and over in the dressing with a wooden spoon. Decorate with watercress and grated raw beetroot
  2. Mix together 2 teacups grated raw cabbage heart, 2 teacups fresh grated carrot and 1 teacup grated raw swede. Decorate with green celery tops and a little raw cauliflower.
  3. Line a bowl thickly with watercress, add 1/2 lb chicory cut into thin strips and mixed with 1 breakfastcup grated raw beetroot. Serve with vinaigrette dressing.


Cole Slaw

  • 4 oz. shredded cabbage heart
  • 1½ tablespoons chopped spring onions.
  • 4-5 tablespoons salad dressing 9about 1/8 pint).

Mix well together and turn into a salad bowl to serve.

Mixed Vegetable Salad

  • 4 tablespoons finely shredded cabbage.
  • 2 tablespoons grated carrot.
  • 1 tablespoon swede or turnip.
  • ½ tablespoon sultanas or raisins.
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped onion (optional).
  • a little salad dressing or vinegar.
  • salt and pepper.
  • 2 tablespoons diced or grated beetroot.
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley.

Mix together the cabbage, carrot, swede, sultanas, and onion, if used. Moisten with a little salad dressing or vinegar, and season to taste. Pile in a dish, and garnish with the beetroot and parsley.

Beetroot and Watercress Salad

  • 4 oz. cooked beetroot diced.
  • ½ teaspoon salt.
  • pinch of pepper.
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar.
  • 2 tablespoons water.
  • 4 oz. watercress.

Place the beetroot in a dish, sprinkle with the seasoning, and pour over the vinegar and water. Garnish with watercress.

Vinaigrette Dressing

Mix together 1 tablespoon salad oil and 2-3 tablespoons vinegar with salt and pepper to taste and a little mustard, if liked.

Royal Dressing

  • 2 ozs. National Flour.
  • ½ pint milk or vegetable water.
  • 2 ozs. grated raw beetroot.
  • 1 tablespoonful vinegar.
  • Salt and Pepper; Sugar.

With the national flour and milk or vegetable water make a sauce thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Beat in the beetroot, sugar, pepper and salt.

Use this dressing to serve with raw vegetable salads.

Economical Salad Dressing

  • 2 oz. flour
  • 1 oz. margarine or cooking fat
  • 1 small teacup milk
  • 1 small teacup water
  • 1 teacup dry mustard
  • salt and pepper
  • vinegar to taste

Melt the fat in a pan, stir in the flour and mustard and cook together for a couple of minutes. Then add the liquid gradually, stirring well, Season well with salt and pepper and add vinegar to taste. A tablespoonful of salad oil whisked in before the vinegar is added as an improvement. Store in a corked bottle.