We "HEART" salads
I'm oddly intrigued that my father's been on a quest for a great Greek salad in Cincinnati lately. (I think his friends have been raving about them or something). We never make Greek salads at home, and three of his most despised foods - cucumbers (makes him burp too much), red/green peppers (ditto) and oregano - are among the main components of Greek salad. Add to that the fact that I have never seen my father eat any kind of an olive, and it's a mystery to me. But I am also intrigued to look online and see that Greek salads (unlike any I have ever had in a restaurant, including Mythos in Newport), by and large, do not actually contain lettuce. Epicurious has this recipe, and here's a fun video "how to" on Greek salad. I'll have to buy some feta and try these one of these days. But I've been into other creative salads lately.
When I was a kid, I remember thinking that salads always tasted better in restaurants, I guess because they contained so many more ingredients. But now that I buy my own groceries, I make sure we have plenty of tasty add-ins -- not just iceberg (read: non-nutritional crunchy water product) and Ranch (pasty white stuff) dressing. During vacation with extended family last week, we tossed together what has become our standard salad around the house, which can always be amended based on whatever is in the fridge. The basic ingredients:
Baby carrots, sliced
Fresh Campari tomatoes
Parmesan cheese, shredded
Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled (recently replaced blue cheese, since it's a bit milder)
Dried blueberries (or cranberries/craisins)
Dried currants (by SunMaid - like raisins but smaller and daintier)
Freshly ground pepper - lots of it
Green onions, sliced.
Pecans or walnuts. Lately, it's been candied pecans from Trader Joe's.
Grapes or cherries
Sea salt. This is my latest thing.
Mushrooms, in small quantities, sliced.
I'll happily just eat a salad for dinner these days, or add a little pasta and a few slices of toast to feel satisfied. Dressing? That's up to you, but I alternate between balsamic vinaigrette and olive oil, and Brianna's ginger mandarin.