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Saturday, February 05, 2011

It's a bowl of weeds

From The West Wing, Toby Ziegler on the merits of salads:

As much as I love Toby Ziegler, I gotta disagree with him here. I love salads, and I eat them frequently. Here's one I had for dinner just the other night:

Salad: my new obsession

Generally, my approach to the salad over the years has been pretty minimalistic when I make one at home: some greens and some dressing, and I like to beef things up by putting tuna on top (yes, the entire can). But lately I've decided to start adding more stuff to my salads, so I've started keeping a couple of plum tomatoes on hand at all times, for instance. I'm not a huge fan of raw tomato, but I like it just fine in stuff, so fresh diced tomato on a salad is great. I also adore banana peppers to an almost obscene degree; I bought a jar of 'em last week and I'm already a third of the way through it. Carrots are great, as are sliced mushrooms. Grated cheese? You bet. Oh, and hard-boiled eggs go great on salads. You make a nice big salad with all that stuff on it, and you don't even need any meat.

I do tend to have a heavier hand with the dressing than I probably should, although I do balance this out by getting lighter versions. My favorite dressing is actually a light Italian, preferably made with extra-virgin olive oil. But I do like good old Ranch, too. I used to be a big fan of Thousand Island, but I haven't had that in years, and Russian dressing can be pleasing, too. Haven't had that in years, either. I also like to use olive oil and red wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar, and I sometimes cap the whole thing off with a torn-off piece of flatbread (pita or na'an being my favorites) to sop up what's left of the dressing at the end.

Long live the salad!


Kal said...

I too love the magic that is the salad. I have to have several ingredients to make it correctly though - first of all NO RANCH DRESSING - that is verboten. Plus lots of veggies that crunch like snow peas. I like croutons and nuts and grated cheese too. The more variety of veggies the better. Sometimes I add tuna just to totally amaze myself. There is a place in town that gives you the salad in individual pieces on the plate. That is fantastic. You can put it together the way you want or eat each veggie separately with dipping dressing. I love having one of their big chili salads (chili on the side) all broken up that way.

SK Waller said...

Oh, yeah. You make my kind of salad; I love tuna in it (white albacore only, though), and I love Russian dressing. My favorite though is simple oil and vinegar. Well, unless I'm at the Olive Garden. I could live on their salad indefinitely.

As for the tomato issue, raising 5 kids (in total), I learned that what most people don't like is the slimy bits. I just seed my tomatoes with simple flicks of a spoon.

SK Waller said...

Man, Kal, that sounds amazing!