I love salad! The thing about salads is there is no limit as to what or how many ingredients to have in this simple dish. Prep time varies, and therefore can make the heartiest of people shy away from exploring different toppings or ingredients to include in this dish. However, if you plan well the night of your dinner party your time with the guests will be quite relaxing.
Example: The boys came home yesterday for dinner, which for me, is heaven. I get to pull out all the stops to make a gourmet dinner (not that John doesn’t get gourmet dinners) and to have fun creating. It is just more fun when you have more people to cook for. So I made my pop the top wellingtons, creamed sweet corn, and salad.
Salad you say? Yes, but not just a plain salad. I made all my own dressings, (which I will have a couple of the recipes at the end of this post) and a lot of different toppings.
Prep time would have been little overwhelming, and would have taken time away from visiting with they gang, so I prepped some of the ingredients yesterday and then the rest in the morning. This way prep time didn’t take a lot of time away from fun with my sons and girlfriends.
I chopped onions and black olives the day before, which can be stored in the refrigerator for 7-10 days. I diced the cheddar cheese, which can last about 2 weeks in the fridge. I chopped the peppers, as they can stay fresh in the refrigerator for a few days. The cucumber, bacon bits, mushrooms, and eggs I made that morning. Broccoli and cauliflower are also great to have on salads. Broccoli can last 1 – 2 weeks and cauliflower 1 – 3 weeks. I like using grape tomatoes because they will last up to a week in the refrigerator.
So, now I have left over vegetables I can have again tonight. This helps me to eat well without cringing thinking how I have to dice and chop, because all my prep time has already be done.
Until next time, happy creating.
This is the link to my dry ranch dressing mix. I also made chipotle ranch dressing. I took my ranch dressing recipe and add those ingredients to a blender. I took 2 chipotle peppers in adobe sauce and seeded them and also put those in the blender. I blended until incorporated.
Blue Cheese Dressing
By Dina Puleo
Serving Size: About 1 ½ to 1 ¾ cups
1 cup of light mayonnaise
4 ounces sour cream
1/4 to ½ cup of low fat buttermilk (depends on desired thickness)
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
¼ teaspoon dill
2 teaspoons parsley flakes
1 garlic clove, minced
¼ teaspoon ground mustard
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
3 ounces blue cheese, crumbled
Place all ingredients except blue cheese in a blender and blend until ingredients are fully incorporated. Add the blue cheese and pulse a few times, just enough to incorporate the cheese but still leave some little chunks in the dressing.
Store in refrigerator until ready to use.