If we’re being honest, I can usually take or leave a salad. It’s something I eat because I’m trying to be “healthy” or “it’s Monday” or some other boring reason. I don’t normally crave a salad (unless I’ve been in vacation eating mode and my body hates me for force feeding it sugar and carbs). My cravings are typically reserved for more well balanced meals like spaghetti or pizza. But I have been making this salad for years and I promise it’s delicious and far from boring. It’s bright and flavorful and perfect for spring.
Use whatever lettuce you like, I’m partial to spinach. I can’t get on the kale train..I know, blasphemy. For the toppings I like crumbled cheese (goat or feta), glazed walnuts (Emerald makes a good brand found in all grocery stores), Craisins (how did we live without Craisins?) and grapes. You can substitute the grapes for apple or pear slices if you’d like.
The secret ingredient is this Girard Champagne Dressing I found many moons ago. If you can’t find this dressing just forget about it and hit up a McDonalds because there’s no point in trying this salad without Girard’s. And they make Light version now…amazing.
(A note on homemade salad dressings: Sometimes it’s really worth it to whip up your own salad dressing.. a little olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon and dijon mustard goes a long way. But I’ve never attempted my own Champagne dressing. Why mess with perfection? And also, if the salad dressing is made with actual champagne I would just drink it and then we wouldn’t have any salad dressing.)
So I’m assuming you can put together a salad on your own, BUT, here’s how I do it: Layer on the toppings.
Cut the grapes in half and add those too.
And then right before serving add the dressing – nobody likes soggy salad so for all you crazy planners you’re going to have to add one more thing to your “last-minute to-do list.” I have to say one of my best qualities is adding the salad dressing to a salad….it’s a special skill – you can’t add too much or too little. I’m the resident “salad dresser” at all of our family gatherings. What can I say, it’s a gift.
I’ve amped up this salad for a quick weeknight meal by adding a rotisserie chicken and it’s totally delicious. But it makes an elegant side salad for a special occasion i.e. Easter that’s coming in a few days! So tell me…what’s YOUR favorite go-to salad recipe?
And seriously, does anyone actually like kale?