Salad for Dinner

7,635
812
Joined Apr 3, 2008
We're in the habit of having salad for dinner once or twice a week, been doing this for over a year now.  We've been pretty happy with our romaine lettuce/tomato/cucumber/avocado standard with fun additions like grilled shrimp or chicken, and roasted peppers tossed in our handy dandy vinegraitte.

Any ideas on how to spruce things up a bit?
 
3,147
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Joined Jan 5, 2007
Peppery radishes added to the mix?

Spring  onions?

Lamb's lettuce instead of romaine?

Radiccio instead of romaine?

Baby spinach leaves?
 
1,730
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Joined Aug 18, 2007
A chopped salad full of flavours and textures is amazing I make them all the time.

Everything's chopped up small

Rocket (arugala) baby spinach

Grapes

Seeds... Pumpkin, sunflower and sesame dried fried and sprinkled over the top

fruit...Apples segmented orange, dried cranberries, raisins

Nuts...Walnuts, pecans

olives...I buy tubs of mixed, spiced, pre chopped

Chiffonade ham, leftover roast beef, white crab meat and prawns

Celery

Small blobs of blue cheese... Gorganzola works like a charm, Parmezan shavings

Toasted rounds of goats cheese on little rounds of toast (great as a starter too)

Sundried tomatoes

Pepperdews...They're wee spicy peppers in sweet vinegar

When I'm in the mood i make myself a salad for lunch with so many of the above that it ends up being a huge bowlful, Everyone gets stuck in.
 
3,208
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Joined Aug 25, 2009
Fresh Basil, fresh mint, fresh dill , fennel, freshly squeezed lemon juice, drizzle olive oil, sprinkle of "kalas" (the salt I use)

If your happy with Romaine its hard to change but maybe incorporate other flavors then.

There is always grated carrots, sliced egg, tuna, ....maybe change the protein.

Different dressing ?
 
7,635
812
Joined Apr 3, 2008
Haha I guess there are many things to do.  Thanks for the suggestions.  I am kind of boring when it comes to the lettuce I guess but that's because I enjoy the fresh crunch of romaine.  Many times I do incorporate arugula and radicchio and fresh spinach come to think of it.

What's a lamb's lettuce Ishbel?  Can you send a link to a pic?

Today I got some red leaf lettuce and some boston lettuce and I'll shuck in some sugar snap peas, yellow heirloom tomatoes, toasted almonds, european cucumber, black smoked olives, avocado and top it with some beautiful large shrimp.  Maybe grate in a carrot, why not.  As for dressing, this salad deserves a little garlicy vinegraitte today. 

Thanks for reminding me petals, I usually use my kalas sea salt but I always forget to use my fleur de sel!

I love creamy dressings but I don't make them at home.  Any suggestions, I haven't had a good spicy ranch in a while.  Hate that bottled stuff.
 
7,375
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Joined Aug 11, 2000
sour cream, mayo, chives, tarragon, dillweed makes a great dressing

beets with citrus or chevre or both

corn salad....many variations but my fav is mayo, parm, chipotle, lime juice

Bean salad, either retro 3 bean or cannolini beans with lemon  juice/zest, garlic, onions, parsley

tabboule

Stuffed charred small peppers with chevre

pasta salad loaded out with veg/meat

I just picked up agar and am going to play with jello

citrus salad, bibb lettuce with citrus supremes, fruity evo

sweet potato salad

potato salads, german, french, american

pissonelet...greens, poached egg, lardons, roasted fingerlings, tarragon/mustard/evo/shallot dressing

gosh, it's unusal for me not to serve multiple salads at dinner.
 
4,460
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Joined Nov 5, 2007
Surprised bacon hasn't been mentioned more often. The other day I crisped up some thin slices of pancetta in olive oil, let them cool and drain, then crumbled. All sorts of charcuterie and cold cuts can be used, salami, pepperoni, head cheese, speck, Roasted peppers are nice, and raw bell peppers add crunch and color. I haven't been to this one market for a while, last time I was there they had like 9 or 10 different color bells available.

Here's a grilled garlic shrimp and avocado one I did recently. I used orange bell to match the color of the shrimp, but the hand whisked aioli got the most comments:



And of course, cheeses of all descriptions. Anchovies, anyone?

mjb.

PS: The shrimp and the aioli recipes are in the recipe forum at http://wasatchfoodies.com
 
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7,635
812
Joined Apr 3, 2008
Looks great, but I don't think I've ever seen that lettuce here Ishbel.  And I do wish purslane was more available as well.

What's the difference between bibb lettuce and boston lettuce?  And most importantly, which tastes better?

Our salad last night was a big hit.  I improvised on the dressing and made a make-believe ceasar dressing instead.  In the mortar/pestle I pounded some garlic, anchovies and sea salt and mixed in mayonnaise, red wine vinegar, and a bit of worcestershire.  Ordinarily I would put in some grated parmesan as well but left it out due to the shrimp.  It was tasty. 

Thanks for the dressing idea shroom, I must try that.
 
7,375
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Joined Aug 11, 2000
ratio

2 parts sour cream to mayo

4 parts dried chives, 3 parts dillweed, 1 part tarragon

salt and pepper....milk if you want it thinner.

surprisingly no garlic.
 
1,447
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Joined Apr 3, 2008
don't forget that roasting or making candied nuts also help liven things up and it's fairly fast and easy. That Lamb Lettuce looks like one of the varieties you get in the pre-washed spring mix cases. Wife had some in our garden for a while it sure did a lot better then the oak leaf lettuce or even my romaine. Hardy little plant.
 
3,599
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Joined Aug 13, 2006
Are you looking for supper salads, that is, salads that constitute the supper in themselves, or a salad to have as PART of a supper?

One supper salad i love is quinoa salad:

take quinoa and boil it like pasta for about 9 minutes, it shouldn't get mushy or soft - the texture's important, but not crunchy. 

meanwhile chop very finely in tiny dice (1/8 inch maybe a little larger):

carrot

celery

onion

and halve some small ripe tomatoes if they;re in season, and put them on the pan too, with the same seasoning.

spread on a flat low-sided cookie sheet with a very little oil, salt, and pepper and a little brown sugar sprinkled over it, and roast or broil till the vegetables are caramelized

You can add chopped pepper, zucchine, and probably other things. 

add it to the quinoa.  (you can make it hot, in which case wait to cook the quinoa till the vegetables are done, or cold, in which case you can do them and let them drain beforehand).

I also add frozen peas sometimes - if you're making it cold, mix them immediately into the drained quinoa and they willdefrost and cool the quinoa at the same time.

some shrimp can be sauteed and added

then lemon juice (or lemon pulp too, cutting away the white stuff) and olive oil, salt and pepper, and if you like some fresh parsley and chives. 

It's a very nice supper, very satisfying. 
 
7,635
812
Joined Apr 3, 2008
Thanks siduri.  Yes I am most interested in salads that are dinner in themselves.  I always get very creative with salads that are part of a meal and there is an abundance of those but to make a hearty yet healthy salad for dinner can be a challenge.  I'm not interested in pasta salads or rice salads or other starches because salad night is one day when we tend to go easy on carbs for health reasons.

Salad night at our house has really taken on a life of its own.  I couldn't get my husband to eat much salad with dinner but he's really taken to the big salad for dinner idea.  It's as much fun as pizza night at our house.  We each get to construct our own salad however we want it.  I can imagine this will be a great tradition to continue with our kids.

Kidney beans, must remember to pick some of those up I just love them in salads!
 
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Joined Mar 30, 2011
Some torn leaf lettuce, thinly sliced pears, crumbled roquefort cheese, diced avocado, sliced red onion, some candied pecan halves and a homemade mustard dressing (using red wine vinegar, good quality olive oil, a bit of white sugar, prepared mustard, a chopped garlic clove, and salt/pepper to taste) is a classic lunch in my kitchen!  Add some sliced boiled egg "crumbles" and grilled chicken and you've got an easy dinner made in less than 10m.
 
3,599
46
Joined Aug 13, 2006
Thanks siduri.  Yes I am most interested in salads that are dinner in themselves.  I always get very creative with salads that are part of a meal and there is an abundance of those but to make a hearty yet healthy salad for dinner can be a challenge.  I'm not interested in pasta salads or rice salads or other starches because salad night is one day when we tend to go easy on carbs for health reasons.

Salad night at our house has really taken on a life of its own.  I couldn't get my husband to eat much salad with dinner but he's really taken to the big salad for dinner idea.  It's as much fun as pizza night at our house.  We each get to construct our own salad however we want it.  I can imagine this will be a great tradition to continue with our kids.

Kidney beans, must remember to pick some of those up I just love them in salads!
Actually, i believe quinoa is a sort of legume, am i correct?  It's not very starchy, not in the way rice would be.  It doesn't taste starchy.  Try it, it's quite good. 
 
 
7,375
69
Joined Aug 11, 2000
roasted veg make a great salad....red onion slices, zucchini or yellow squash, eggplant, peppers...

cole slaws...creamy, not creamy, asian, broccoli....
 

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