Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Salad To-Go

For whatever reason, I often end up bringing salad to potlucks or get-togethers. I like to make all of the veggies part of the dressing so it's easy to toss together once it reaches its intended destination, but doesn't wilt the lettuce before we get there.  I think the first time I ever had salad in this fashion was on vacation with my in-laws, way before they were my in-laws. My mother-in-law would make a salad the first night that usually included tomatoes, capers, and black olives in balsamic vinegar an olive oil. I'm not sure what else she put in there, but she was probably listening to Bob Marley as she put it together in the beach condo kitchen. After we ate that, she would keep the marinade and add a few more veggies the next night. I thought it was super gourmet, but now knowing the quiet genius my mother-in-law was, I think it was her easy way of having salad every night.

For this Easter salad I used tomatoes, cucumbers, artichoke hearts and red bell pepper all chopped up. I mixed about 1/4 cup olive oil and 1/8 cup of red wine vinegar with salt, pepper, chopped garlic, and Italian seasoning. Add the dressing to the veggies and put in a to-go container. I also like kalamata olives, but I put those on the side since the hubby and one of his brothers don't like them. Feta cheese is a nice add in for this, too. Chop up some romaine and mix it with some spring mix. Put it all in a cooler with some ice packs, go to church, then show up at destination and toss it all together. The dressing breaks down the veggies a bit, just adding to the dressing effect. (I try to take my own big salad bowl and tongs, one less thing for the host to have to worry about finding a dish for).

*Of course, this salad can be as healthy as the veggies that are chosen to put in it. Making dressing out of vinegar and oil is almost a healthier option than bottled dressings, high in sodium, fat and preservatives.  One of the reasons I like to bring salad is that at most potlucks there are lots of delicious, heavy, cheesy things. I think a salad helps to cut through all of that, and provide a little bit of reprieve from the guilt of eating so much good stuff.

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