Sunday, January 9, 2011

I'll Have a Really Big Salad

As a general rule, I don't like salads.  Oh wait.  Let me qualify that...I don't like salads that I make at home.  I love those fancy schmancy ones you get in restaurants; the ones with dried cherries and some kind of nut or other doo dad in them, but I'm not a fan of the bag-o-salad you can buy in the store.  I'm not above buying them and using them when I need a really quick salad fix, but I'm not happy about it when I do it.  I feel like I'm cheating or something.  Anyway...  I'm giving you a recipe that is really well-liked by everybody that tries it.  Its my mom's recipe so that means its good (because my mom is the world's best cook.  Seriously. )

And like Elaine from Seinfeld, sometimes I just want a really big salad, and I could eat this whole thing by myself. 

Spinach Salad (I never  hardly ever use spinach, actually)

1 lb spinach
1 head Boston Bibb
1 c. sliced celery
1/2 c. sliced green onions.

Right here I need to stop and tell you that I'm giving you my mom's recipe word for word, but I don't make it this way.  I usually use Romaine, or any other salad green thats on sale.  Today, I used 2 heads of Romaine, and thats all.  No onions or celery.  Still quite wonderful.

Mix above and add:
15 oz. mandarin oranges, or a bunch of sliced fresh strawberries   - Actually, any fruit will work here.  I've used apples, pears, and peaches, whatever is in season.
1/2 lb shredded mozzarella cheese

And now, I'm going to give you the secret ingredient.  This technique alone will make any salad that much better.  Honest. To. God. 

Saute 2 T sugar and 1/2 cup slivered almonds.  Stir often until brown and the sugar is all melty.  Spread this out to cool on aluminum foil.   This works with just about any nut - I usually use whatever I have in the pantry.  Pecans are also quite delightful. 

1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon dry mustard
5 Tablespoons white vinegar
1 teaspoon salt

mix above and gradually add 1 cup of oil. 

You can also add 1 and a half teaspoons of grated onion and 1 and a half teaspoons of poppy seeds if you don't mind picking them out of your teeth for the rest of the day.  (can you tell what I usually leave out? )

This is, by far, my favorite salad.  I make it whenever I'm asked to bring a salad somewhere  - its easy to double the size of this and it usually goes pretty quickly. 

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