I am a salad snob.
Don’t feed me iceberg lettuce. Ditto for warm, wilted or brown lettuce. And please don’t serve me lettuce that still has ice on it.
I prefer spring mix, baby spinach, green leaf, or even kale (on occasion). It should be cool, crisp and just a little crunchy, and, most of all, have some flavor. I used to have a salad cookbook that described what flavors os salad toppings went best with what kinds of lettuce. I lost it in one of my many moves. However, I do blame this book for opening my eyes on the variety of tastes avaiable.
Mexican restaurants are judged on the quality of the rice and beans. If the entree is good but the rice and beans are dry, overcooked or flavorless… well, I’m less likely to return.
Mainstream restaurants are judged on the house salad they serve before the entree. And usually my thought is “really? I’m paying $30 for a meal and you’re serving me iceberge lettuce with carrot shavings?” If a restaurant has a bad opening salad, I’m less likely to return. The entree would have to make up for it. And I mean really make up for it.
I like salads with jicama chunks, feta cheese, sprouts, avocado, berries (of all kinds), nuts, dried fruits, broccoli, cauliflower, eggs, meats, tomatoes, artichokes, pasta, and breads (crispy noodles, crispy tortilla strips, cracker crumbles, or croutons). No, I don’t literally mean all of these in the same salad — though I’ve come close a time or two. I’m just giving an idea of the things I add in.
And don’t get me started on the dressings!
The reality is that my salads are not healthy. As I go through my nutrition class week after week, I know that I am going to have to make adjustments in my snobbish ways. Is nothing sacred?