I love salad. My general dinner rule is there must be something green on the plate and, nine times out of ten, it's salad. The key to loving salad is knowing how to make a good one. I hate when people say they don't like salad. They just haven't had a good one yet.
The nightly cooking ritual is as follows: Lovah is in charge of the "meat" (chicken, steak, fish, etc), while I'm in charge of the sides (salad, rice, couscous, roasted veggies, etc). And most nights, I end up with a salad that looks like this. How? I throw some romaine in a bowl and top it with everything I can find from the fridge. The usual suspects: tomatoes, carrots, apples and sunflower seeds. If we're lucky, there might also be some crumbled cheese, pickled beets, snap peas, sweet peppers, and dried cranberries.
When Lovah happens to be working late or traveling and I know I'll be having a solo dinner, I plan a monster salad. I can pile on the goat cheese (which he thinks tastes like dirty socks), make my homemade vinaigrette extra garlicky (recipe coming soon!), and put all the fruit I want in it. Lovah used to say that fruit doesn't belong on salad but I've tricked him into liking apples, pears, even strawberries. Pretty soon I'll slip in some blood oranges—he won't know what hit him.
Last night happened to be a solo meal featuring one of my five-star salads. Give me one giant colorful bowl of fixins topped with baked chicken and drenched in balsamic vinegar, a glass of Merlot, the remote control, a sleeping baby, and an Audrey Tautou flick....
The Everything-in-Your-Fridge Salad
Peppers (bell or sweet)
Beets (pickled or roasted)
Crumbled cheese (blue, goat, feta)
Fruit (apples, pears, or strawberries)
Nuts (sunflower seeds, toasted almonds, or candied walnuts)
Meat (chicken, steak, or turkey)
*Additional topping ideas: dried cranberries, cucumber, avocado, hard boiled egg, bacon, celery, olives, red onion, etc.
Oil and vinegar
1. Chop all ingredients to desired size and toss together in a large bowl.
2. Drizzle with oil and vinegar to taste. Toss to coat. Serve.