What kind of blog post title is that? Just, “Salad.” I could have titled this post many other things with snazzy adjectives, a play on words, or an amusing alliteration, but I didn’t because, well, it’s just salad.
But it isn’t.
Salad can be (and to me, usually is) interesting. It’s an opportunity to blend new flavors and/or textures, to get nutrients you need, and use up left overs. Sure people are opposed to “eating rabbit food”, to the texture of lettuce, or raw vegetables in general, but it doesn’t have to be a boring or miserable experience.
In my mind, salad is a base, toppings or add-ins, and a dressing. Just what those bases, toppings, add-ins, or dressings are? Basically unlimited.
When I think about salads, (What? You don’t?) I generally think of the one that has been prepared at Nanny & Pops house for my entire life: lettuce, carrots, red peppers, green peppers, cucumbers, banana pepper rings, tomatoes, onions big enough to pick out, white vinegar, whatever oil was handy, salt and pepper. A good, solid, vegetable based dish. Usually it was a leafy lettuce that I remember, but not always.
Daddy-O’s salads are made with iceberg lettuce, carrots, radishes, cheese and pepperoni, green olives and Italian dressing. Momma’s salads are of a dark leafy lettuce, red onion or chives, sometimes garlic stuffed olives, hard boiled eggs, and either bleu cheese or Greek or a Romano cheese Italian dressing. Frank doesn’t like salad.
Me? I make big salads. If it’s a vegetable I like, it gets added to the salad. Grains, meat, hard-boiled eggs, crasins, basil, mushrooms, etc? It’s all fair game in my mind. My only requirement is that it can’t be wilted or limp and has to taste good with my dressing of choice.
If I’m making it for a bunch of people, I put the base in a big bowl and then put the add-ins in their own little bowl so people can have what they want and they don’t have to pick stuff out.
Other salads I might bring with me if you ask? Ambrosia, pasta (which is different from macaroni ), antipasto (keep your anchovies, thanks!), German potato salad, tuna or chicken salad, broccoli, bean, or fruit salad.
Why am I talking about salads today? Who knows? It might have been the one I had last night at 10pm for a snack after I finished painting trim for the night but before yoga, or the fact that Daddy-O was telling me about the wonderful Greek one he had yesterday and that I would like to have today. You never really know where inspiration truly comes from.
So yeah. Salad. What do you put in your ideal salad?