Salads are wonderful in family meals. Explore the world of greens and make salads a delicious part of every meal.
Choose heads that are densely packed and heavy for their size. Avoid any wilted or browned greens.
If you are buying greens sealed in cellophane bags, check their freshness date and look closely, especially at the bottom of the bag, for any leaves that are discolored or wet. Baby greens are available in bulk and packaged in cellophane bags.
Select greens from the different groups and don't hesitate to experiment with colors, textures, and flavors to make a salad that suits your taste.
Bibb lettuce, Butter lettuce, Green-leaf or Red-leaf lettuce and Mesclun--Delicate leaves with sweet flavor
Iceberg Lettuce, Romaine and Spinach--Crisp leaves with mild flavor
Salad Savoy--Leaves with nutty and sweet flavor
Arugula, Curly Endive, Watercress--Leaves with bitter or peppery flavor
Radicchio, Red Cabbage, Red Endive --Crisp and brightly colored leaves
Store greens unwashed in plastic bags. Although best if eaten the day of purchase, soft-leaved greens will keep for up to 4 days in a plastic bag in the crisper of the refrigerator. Firmer lettuces such as romaine will keep for up to 10 days.
Jamie's Cranberry Spinach Salad
1 Tbsp. butter
3/4 c. almonds, blanched and slivered
1 lb. spinach, rinsed and torn into bite-size pieces
1 c. dried cranberries
2 Tbsp. toasted sesame seeds
1 Tbsp. poppy seeds
1/2 c. white sugar
2 tsp. minced onion
1/4 tsp. paprika
1/4 c. white wine vinegar
1/4 c. cider vinegar
1/2 c. vegetable oil
In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Cook and stir almonds in butter until lightly toasted. Remove from heat and let cool. In a large bowl, combine the spinach with the toasted almonds and cranberries. In a medium bowl, whisk together the sesame seeds, poppy seeds, sugar, onion, paprika, white wine vinegar, cider vinegar and vegetable oil. Toss with spinach just before serving.
Chicken BLT Salad
8 c. torn romaine lettuce
3 c. sliced cooked chicken breast (about 3/4 lb.)
2 c. cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 c. sliced red onions
1 c. Sharp Cheddar Cheese crumbled or grated, divided
1/4 c. Ranch Dressing with Bacon
2 slices cooked bacon, crumbled
Toss lettuce, chicken, tomatoes, onions and 1/2 cup of the cheese in a large bowl. Add dressing; mix lightly. Top with remaining 1/2 cup cheese and the bacon.