Salad Days

I love salads and I wish I made them more often. Nothing too fancy, just a mix of lettuces, some chopped veggies and a little crunchy topper. I sometimes think about more advanced salads or non-traditional salads like the roasted beets and goat cheese type that I love. For awhile Chris was making me a salad several days a week and bring it to me at work. But that goes in streak and we’ve been on the “off streak” for a while now.
So, tonight, with no protein in the fridge looking to be cooked, Chris mentioned he’d cooked some chicken earlier in the week for salads so maybe I could do up salads. And it sounded pretty good to me.
Clearly, there is no recipe involved here. We had a bag of romaine and a plastic box of field greens. I took a few cups of each and combined them with diced carrot, bell pepper, green onion, red onion* (sliced very thin), and tomatoes. Add to that a handful of dried cranberries and another handful of sweet n’ spicy pecans from Trader Joe’s and we had ourselves a salad. My one rule: Always, always always re-wash your lettuces. Even if the bag says ready-to-go! Between internet horror stories of frogs in bags o’ lettuce and occasionally floppy texture of bagged lettuce, its worth the extra step, in my book. At the very list, your salad will be fresher tasting with more crunch.

I also like to a salad as above but with sunflower seeds, a bleu cheese crumble and ranch dressing. A favored variation of the green lettuce salad is spinach, mandarin oranges, red onions* and a lite Caesar style dressing. Both of these seem to combine all my favorite flavors and textures.

Normally, I like to add my dressing to the bowl and toss it all together. You use less dressing this way without any bald spots in the salad. I didn’t do that tonight because I didn’t know what variety Chris would like. Of course, we ended up both using the  same kind: Asiago peppercorn!

The best thing about making this salad today is that it was the first opportunity to use the salad bowl and tossers given to me as a wedding shower gift.

So cute!! I feel like I need to have a salad party now! And a pizza party since we also got a pizza stone. And I still want to have a pasta party sometime to use my pasta attachments for the Kitchen-Aid.

To go with the salad, I, at the last minute, decided to make some bruschetta. I just brushed a couple slices of bread (multi-grain artisan) with garlic olive oil, topped them with diced tomato and a little shredded cheese and dried basil then under the broiler for 2 minutes.

*I swear that red onions have gotten a lot hotter over the last few years. These are supposed to the best suited for salads but man oh man sometimes they haunt me all day. I am hoping this is a variation in onion varieties and not a sign that I am getting old.  To get around this, I find that the thinner the slice, the easier for my esophagus.

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