Change Up Chopped Salad
A MEAL IN ITSELF
This is one of my favorite green salads. Actually, it is many salads in one. The main ingredients are green and red leaf lettuce. Need some crunch in your lettuce? Just add a little iceberg. No bag lettuce here. Nothing against bag lettuce. I use it. But for this salad full flavor is needed to compete with the other ingredients. The choice of ingredients is up to you. Do you want the salad to have a Mexican flare, Italian, or…. I’ll give you some ideas and then you change up as you and your family like. I have a simple dressing that too can be changed up. My favorite dressing for this has no measuring and only includes two ingredients.
These are the ingredients I used to start: Red leaf lettuce, green leaf lettuce, broccoli, red bell pepper, mushrooms, green onions, and avocado.
After washing the leaf lettuce dry thoroughly. This has a two-fold purpose. Dressing will maintain its strength when added to dry ingredients. And if dressing is not added to all the lettuce … the leftover lettuce that has not had dressing or very wet ingredients added will keep for a day or longer. Chopping lettuce does bruise the lettuce and does shorten the refrigerator life. If you store the lettuce with a paper towel the moisture will be taken up partially by the towel. Did you know it isn’t the vinegar in a dressing that breaks down the lettuce? It is the oil and salt.
Here is the chopped lettuce. It is cut in both directions. What makes this salad is the chopping of ingredients to similar size.
Broccoli adds a great crunch to a salad. Know this amount used, two crowns, will create a predominant broccoli taste. This can be reduced or eliminated. Cauliflower can be added or used instead.
I’ve added mushrooms, green onions, and red bell pepper. The avocado and turkey will be added at the very end. Again, chopping ingredients pretty much the same size.
For a family that has multiple likes or dislikes many ingredients can be prepared but added individually.
For a Mexican flavor add a combination, your choice: cooked ground lean beef, Mexican cheeses, tomatoes, pico de gallo, green chilies, black beans or salsa. These additions would replace the broccoli, red bell pepper, mushrooms, and turkey in my salad. Serve with tortillas or tortilla chips.
Italian could include a combination of these ingredients: Italian cheeses, salami, pepperoni, pepperoncini, or tomatoes. Again, eliminating broccoli and mushrooms. Serve with Italian bread.
Or Greek: Feta cheese, greek olives, cucumber, red onion or green bell pepper. Eliminate broccoli and mushrooms. Serve with pita bread.
Here is the way I love this salad … Huge bowl, in my napkin covered lap. And the dressing … more than a sprinkle of seasoned rice vinegar (I quickly pour a small stream over the salad in a circular motion.) and the same for extra virgin olive oil. That’s it!
BUT here are two dressings that work well on all these salads. I know T will appreciate the one without garlic.
French Dressing: Measure the following ingredients in a medium size bowl: 3/4 cup light olive oil, 1/4 cup white or white wine vinegar, 1/2-1 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, 2-3 teaspoons sugar, 1/2 teaspoon paprika, and a couple of drops of hot sauce, such as Tabasco. Whisk vigorously.
Italian Dressing: Measure the following ingredients in a medium size bowl: 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, 1/4 cup red wine vinegar, 1/2-1 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, 2-3 teaspoons sugar, 1 garlic clove-minced, 1 tablespoon grated parmesan, and a shake or two of Italian spices-optional. Whisk vigorously.