Apparently some people think that salad for dinner is Not A Thing, but I'm pretty sure it's just because they're not salading hard enough. As long as your salad has enough protein and fat in it, it's kind of an ideal dinner, especially once the weather crosses that 80° mark.
Anyway, I really only make variations on one salad. It's called "Stinky Salad," named after a comic Natasha Allegri posted on LiveJournal back in the day. It goes a little like this:
- Leaf lettuce — not romaine, not iceberg, the more flavorful stuff. Red and green are both nice.
- 1 medium carrot per 2 people. Grated, or you can take a slicer to it (kind of annoying to get it thin enough with a knife).
- A little bit of onion, sliced as thin as you can get it.
Throw in any of these if they're around and you're feeling it.
- Raddichio or other bitter leafies. Chop real thin.
- Snap peas! Try to strip the spine out of them by peeling back on the stem, so they'll play nice with the other textures. Chop into 2 or 3 pieces.
- Tomatoes, but ONLY if you can get the really good local shit. If your tomatoes are only OK, use them for something else.
MANDATORY PILE OF STINKY CRAP:
- 1 hard boiled egg per person, cut into, idk, eighths.
- Reminder: steam your eggs, it's fast and reliable!
- 1 pepperoncini per person, sliced thin.
- A small handful of olives per person, pitted and halved. (I use a mix of kalamata and big green guys. I think black olives would go wrong with it, but what do I know, it's YOUR salad now!!!)
- Feta cheese.
Use a LOT of this. Side salads might still work ok if you skimp on the dressing, but we're playing in the dinner leagues now.
- Good olive oil. IDK, somewhere around a quarter cup per 2 people? Maybe more? I kind of just eyeball it in one of those pyrex not-a-ramekins. Sorry!
- Good enough balsamic vinegar.
- Spicy brown mustard, about 1/8 tsp per 2 people. I know this seems random, but it's very important.
- Garlic, maybe one large clove per 2 people unless you wanna level this salad UP. Use a garlic press, because completely creamed garlic works better in dressing than lil cubes do.
- Salt (~1/4 tsp for 2 ppl?).