I love salads. I look forward to them the way some people look forward to diving into the breadbasket, which, I also love but feel slightly guilty about when it reaches me. With salads, though, I never feel I need to hold back. It is from the salad portion of the menu that I have the most trouble choosing and I find that I often pick a place to return to eat based on its salads. Nordstrom’s has a crab and shrimp Louis salad that brings me into the store regularly which certainly doesn’t hurt sales in the shoe department. A local bakery makes a baby green salad with strawberries, blue cheese and sesame dressing that I crave so badly that I use it as a reward for doing all those hateful “to dos” on the list. Anyway, it feels like such a virtuous craving, like wanting to listen to classical music or read devotionals. Actually, I don’t really crave classical music or devotional reading but I often admire those that profess those interests and I think, “I bet they love salads, too. We should probably be friends.” Then I remember that classical music loving, devotional reading, salad lovers might be a pretty dreary lot to hang out with so I crank up the jazz and check out Slate.com while I crunch away.
I eat a salad almost every day for lunch. I don’t change the salad up very much from day to day as once I buy the ingredients I need, I have so much stuff that I have to eat the same salad for a long time or at least until the lettuce rots. This is a peculiar trait of mine to happily eat the same salad for weeks with little variation. As much as I enjoy cooking a wide variety of recipes for dinner, I’m completely content with eating the same salad for lunch until one day when I am suddenly not. Then I move on to a new one.
I think I have about a dozen salad recipes that I rotate through during the course of the year. This one, my current favorite, was given to me from my friend Heather, and has been requested many times from my family and friends – especially my Bunko group.
Sugar Snap Strawberry Pecan Salad with Poppy Seed Scallion Dressing
Note: This makes a lot of dressing and you do not need the entire amount for this size salad. The dressing holds well in the fridge for later uses.
1 head Butter Lettuce, washed, dried and torn into pieces
1 bunch baby spinach , washed, dried
2 cups fresh sugar snap peas
1 cup chopped celery
1 pint strawberries, sliced
1 cup pecans, toasted in pan with 3 Tablespoons brown sugar
1. Prep all vegetables, melt brown sugar in pan with pecans until toasted and remove to cool.
2. Heat vinegar with sugar on stove over low heat until sugar is dissolved. Mix all dressing ingredients in mason jar and shake well.
3. Dress salad with dressing.
3 Tablespoons Poppy Seeds or Black Sesame Seeds
2/3 cup cider vinegar
2 cup vegetable oil
½ cup sugar
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons dried mustard
1 Tablespoon fresh, chopped scallions