The Evolution of Salad

If you are anywhere near my age, you probably remember that salads were very different growing up….iceberg lettuce was routine, followed closely by romaine…..add tomato, cucumber, maybe a little onion and that was pretty much it. In Ginger’s home, salad was served often enough, but not every day. Bottles of ‘Catalina’ or ‘Russian’ dressing on the table to add yourself….salad was served not as a first course, but with the main course, in a separate small salad bowl……Well, well, well, haven’t times changed??? The options of lettuce alone are pretty amazing, then all the other add-ons for protein, color, texture, fiber, etc….beets, quinoa, edamame……Because it is so healthy, salad is part of dinner for Peter and I every day….we both like different varieties of lettuce, including arugula and kale…..and always toss the dressing on the whole salad, never just add it individually, it tastes so much better that way…..One area of disagreement between visiting family members is whether the salad is on a separate plate or not – in a restaurant, or if serving salad to company, I like salad served first, on a flat salad plate. For everyday, just the family, I prefer salad with my meal – on the same plate…it is a way to fill your plate with more veggies and eat less high calorie meat and carbs – AND – I don’t like how it looks to reach over to a side salad bowl, OR how the table looks crowded with extra plates. Am I crazy? Maybe. Would love to hear how you serve salad…..

Everyday dinner, salad on the plate....
Everyday dinner, salad on the plate….
One interesting salad discovery was on our honeymoon in Greece, ordering Greek salad….salad was fabulous, but never had any lettuce! Green peppers, red onions, tomatoes, capers, feta cheese, that was it! It was so delicious that we made it that way when we came home, but ultimately resorted back to traditional salads with greens…

Sometimes I have a great salad in a restaurant and I ask for their recipe or just try to recreate it at home…..recently had lunch at Wolfgang Puck’s in Manhattan, enjoyed a yummy chopped kale salad and did a pretty good job of figuring it out…’s my best guess at the ‘recipe’, hope you enjoy!

Chopped Kale and Feta Salad
Kale, chopped fine, about 2 cups (I like the heartier kind, cut off the stems)
Romaine lettuce, about 1 cup chopped fine
1 tomato, chopped fine
1/2 red onion, chopped fine
1/2 cup feta cheese, chopped fine
1/2 cup frozen corn (will thaw quickly)
1/2 cup chick peas
Toss all with your favorite lemon vinaigrette dressing.

Bon appetit!

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  • I love California Pizza’s Morocco Salad, you can find a recipe online, just google “Morocco Salad California Pizza”. Your kale salad recipe looks good, I’ll give it a try. At home, I generally serve salad first, on a salad plate that goes away when the main course is ready. But. depends on what other vegetables are on the main plate. And, speaking of vegetables, I serve WAY more vegetables than we had growing up. More variety, and more combinations.


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