I make a salad almost every night, not because I'm a health freak, but because I enjoy it. The most probable reason that I like these mixed greens is that I put a lot of “stuff” in them. I have it down to a science: lettuce (Boston, romaine, spinach, whatever), something crunchy (I like to use Almond Accents instead of the ever-popular crouton), cheese (feta, goat cheese, bleu, even fresh parmesan) and some kind of fruit (tomatoes, dried cranberries, apples, etc.). Then I just use some kind of combination of olive oil and vinegar (usually balsamic) with a little dijon. Voila! Fresh and easy.
This is a relatively simple formula that may be adjusted depending on the nature of the main course (and the season).
- Asian cuisine: romaine lettuce, those dry chow-mein noodles you get with take-out Chinese food, oranges, olive oil, and rice wine vinegar
- Mexican food: iceberg lettuce, broken up tortilla chips, shredded cheddar, avocados and tomatoes, olive oil and red-wine vinegar
- Hearty winter meal: baby spinach, toasted walnuts, bleu cheese, dried cranberries, olive oil and balsamic vinegar with dijon mustard
- Lighter fare: Boston lettuce, toasted pine nuts, feta (you can even get this low-fat!), olive oil and a little bit of balsamic (the more you use, the more flavorful the dressing will be).
Obviously this formula is played around with as not to go into a boredom-induced coma, but that's basically it. Who knew veggies could be so tasty?