Monday, August 9, 2004

Call that a salad?

There it was in front of me. Iceberg lettuce, cherry tomatoes, & cucumber all cut up into little bit-size pieces. Is that a salad?

Who would want just those three elements covered with dressing and say it was a salad? My ILs! My hubby's entire side of the family thinks those elements (oh...I forgot the croutons too) make up a salad. Then there's the option between the Ranch and the Thousand Island dressing. I haven't eaten Thousand Island dressing since I was in elementary school! When the world hadn't evolved yet!

Suffice it to say, I ate that salad like a trooper. Hoping that consuming TWO servings would give me some nutritional value. But it's amazing how many restaurants think that a salad containing those few parts is considered worthy of selling. I had to bounce on them but there's a Chicago-style pizzeria near us and that's exactly what they sell. They call it a "Garden Salad". I always want to say "There are more vegetables in a garden than that!"

Haven't people noticed that when they put darker lettuces that the salad has more flavor? It adds more flavor and more color. No, I'm not saying that a salad needs to have all the funny looking leaves in it (some of those have a bitter taste to it). I just think adding a variety of lettuces is essential to making a good salad. I'm a BIG fan of adding spinach. All it needs is a thorough gentle washing and it's ready to eat.

Then there's the additional textures to put in. How about some sprouts! How about some yellow, green, or red peppers! You can do a quick roast over the BBQ and cut these babies up for a sweeter taste. I just ate a salad on Friday that had semi-dried cranberries and walnuts in it! Some sweet and some crunchy. It was refreshing! I had to remind myself to buy more items for this week to throw into a salad. What to buy? Sunflower seeds! Oh that salty taste would add some kick. I'm thinking more cranberries for that sweetness. Then there's the option of getting some mandarin oranges, but then I'll have to add something crunchy in if I do that.

But really people! Don't just go for the standard iceburg lettuce. Grab some dark leafy lettuces! Tomatoes are good...but have you eaten a hot-house tomato lately? There's a much grander taste in those puppies. Experiment with your salad! Go for it!

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