Do you find that as your refrigerator gets emptier you have produce odds and ends and leftovers that are still in good shape but aren’t enough for a dish of their own? Having a main-dish salad every so often will keep your supplies turned over and make good use of what you might otherwise have thrown out. I find that sorting down to the bottom of my produce bin also makes me aware of longer-lived foods I had forgotten about, like beets and carrots. After I’m finished sorting I not only have a wonderful salad, but my fridge is cleaned out and ready for a fresh supply of produce.
It might seem simple to throw together a salad, and of course it is. This “recipe,” actually more of a template, is meant to provide inspiration and to share some of my personal favorite salad ideas. As you select your ingredients, consider what flavors may or may not taste good together, and if something might ruin the salad for you, leave it out. Think about having on hand some item that will make the salad extra special. Avocados are often good. Also, I enjoy smoked fish such as salmon or trout. About one-third of a pound is plenty for two people.
|Clean Out the Fridge Salad "Template"|| || |
- 6 cups mixed salad greens, washed and roughly chopped
- 1 cup leafy herbs, leaves only or leaves and stems roughly chopped (such as cilantro, parsley, basil)
- 2 cups leftover or blanched vegetables such as green beans, green peas, snow peas, or carrots (see Notes)
- AND/OR: 2 cups fresh vegetables such as grated carrot, sliced or grated zucchini, sliced or grated yellow squash, sliced or diced radishes, diced celery, finely diced celery root
- 1/4 cup dried fruit (cranberries, cherries, chopped figs or dates, or other)
- 2 hardboiled eggs, sliced or cubed
- 1 avocado, cubed
- 3 ounces (about 1/3 cup) cooked or smoked meat or fish (flaked tuna, flaked salmon, crumbled bacon, or cubed beef, pork, chicken or other)
- 4 tablespoons nuts (pecans, slivered almonds, chopped walnuts, or other) toasted 10 minutes at 300 degrees
- Salad dressing: 2 tablespoons bottled dressing, or homemade vinaigrette: Place 1 tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice in a small container. Mix in 2 teaspoons dried or 1 tablespoon fresh chopped herbs and a pinch of salt. Optional additions: 5 finely chopped oil-cured olives or 1 finely chopped sun-dried tomato. Then add 2 tablespoons olive oil, whisking with a fork until emulsified.
- Divide all ingredients between two large salad bowls as follows: Place greens and leafy herbs in bowls and toss gently to combine.
- Layer on blanched vegetables, fresh vegetables, and dried fruit.
- Place eggs, avocado, and meat or fish in separate areas on top of other ingredients.
- Drizzle with dressing and sprinkle on nuts.
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