I’ve been making my own salads and coming up with my own dressing since I was twelve. My basic salad was basically lettuce (probably iceberg for the crunchy juiciness), shredded carrot, diced green onion or finely sliced yellow onion, and diced tomato, all of that proportioned to taste. You can find pre-shredded salads these days that will give you a basic garden salad, such as the ones from “Ready Pac” (available at most major American supermarkets… I’m sure other countries have equivalent products available). The biggest advantage of these (aside from the obvious convenience) is that they will often include a little shred of a more expensive vegetable, such as red cabbage. Great for you and your pocketbook, all at the same time!
Whenever I make a meal salad, I always add cubed cheese (cheddar will do just fine, or any other semi-hard cheese), and then it’s a matter of some protein and a good dressing, which I also make myself.
Sometimes, I even “kick it up a notch”, as we did tonight (thanks to Rip’s brilliant idea).
Here is tonight’s salad.
- INGREDIENTS (Dressing)
- 1/4 cup olive oil
1 tbps malt vinegar
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
3 sprigs fresh thyme
salt & pepper to taste
1 tbsp half and half
1 tbsp freshly ground mustard seed (or to taste)
1/2 tsp raw horseradish (make sure not to use horseradish SAUCE)
- Mix all ingredients in a glass container (a cruet is nice if you have one, but just a one or two cup measuring cup will do fine). Allow to sit for at least 30 minutes before using.
- INGREDIENTS (Salad) ((NUTRITIONAL INFO (Per Serving): 105.4 Cal (54.5% from Fat, 21.5% from Protein, 24.0% from Carb); 5.7 g Protein; 6.4 g Tot Fat; 4.0 g Sat Fat; 1.8 g Mono Fat; 6.4 g Carb; 1.4 g Fiber; 0.4 g Sugar; 139.9 mg Calcium; 0.4 mg Iron; 118.4 mg Sodium; 19.8 mg Cholesterol))
- 1 vine tomato (or more, to taste), finely diced
dash or so of Spicy Montreal Steak seasoning ((You can also make your own))
1/4 finely sliced onion – yellow or red (or 1/4 cup diced green onion, tops and all)
1/4 cup pearl barley
1 package ready-made garden salad
4-6 oz cheddar cheese, 1/4 inch diced
- In your salad bowl, dust the onions and tomato with the Spicy Montreal Steak seasoning.
Roast the barley in a cast iron skillet until it’s golden brown and delicious. Once roasted, add a pat of butter and a pinch of salt and stir until the butter melts. Add 1/2 to 2/3 cup water and simmer on medium-high heat until the barley is just al dente (about 10 minutes), stirring occasionally. Drain. Feel free to hold on to the water for future use in a rice (white or brown) or even couscous.
Assemble all ingredients sprinkling as much or as little of the barley as you like, and serve with dressing.