A lot of you know I have a foodie pet peeve that drives me nuts. That would be Iceberg lettuce. Honestly, I have no idea why this lettuce exists in the first place. It’s 97% water, completely bereft nutritionally, and licking an envelope is more flavorful than this sad sack of salad.
The antidote to lackluster salad is exchanging the bad stuff for the good stuff. And while it’s always best to buy heads of fresh lettuce, I sometimes fudge and get the ready-to-go stuff. I have found that if you’re careful and selective, you can get fabulous, already washed, and ready-to-go lettuces in a wide assortment of flavors, types, and styles. You can mix, match and pair these lettuces with already shredded carrots, cabbage, and whatever else you find in the produce department willing to go home with you. Add a generous sprinkling of crumbled feta cheese, some pine nuts, and a splash of olive oil, fresh pepper, and a touch of balsamic vinegar, and you have a cover girl of a salad that took all of three minutes to slap together.
Just keep in mind that salad should never take more time to prepare than the meal when it is served on the side. When it’s the main course, well, that’s different.
Here’s a main course salad that everyone will love.
Layered Summer Salad (can be served anytime!)
- 6 cups romaine lettuce chopped coarsely
- 1 cup celery chopped
- 1 cup red bell pepper deribbed, seeded and chopped
- 1 cup green onions chopped
- 2 cups mushrooms sliced
- 2 cups frozen petite peas thawed
- 2 hard boiled eggs peeled and chopped
- 2 cups low fat mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
- 2 tablespoons turkey bacon cooked and chopped fine ½ cup low-fat cheddar cheese, grated
- In a large bowl, layer half the lettuce on the bottom of the bowl.
- Next, using all of the following ingredients, do a layer of celery, bell pepper, green onions, mushrooms, peas and egg. Top with the remaining lettuce.
- Make the dressing by whisking together mayo, brown sugar, garlic powder and curry. Spread evenly over the top of the lettuce. Top with garnish—bacon and cheese. Refrigerate till ready to serve.
What is your favorite salad that can be enjoyed all year long?