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Tuesday, October 3, 2006

How to Make a Delicious Salad

On my way back to the office from lunch today, Carl's Junior lunch bag and coke in hand, a man who was riding up in the elevator with me informed me that my lunch was "not a good one," which I found to be an odd thing to say, since he couldn't see through my brown bag and therefore didn't know what I was about to eat. Then he said, "unless of course that's your boss's lunch?" I told him it was my lunch, and then he told me I was working too hard, which I also found funny, because (a) he doesn't know what I do for work, and (b) I'm really not working that hard today, which is why I have time to write this blog. But unfortunately, the man was right about my lunch not being good.

I had ordered a charbroiled chicken salad with bleu cheese dressing, and in ordering such a meal, I made a couple mistakes: (1) you should never get a salad at a fast food joint because they use bagged lettuce, and (2) bleu cheese is a risky dressing choice even at good restaurants, let alone fast food joints.

I hate the taste of bagged lettuce – pre-chopped ice berg with bits of cabbage and carrots thrown in for color. Not a tasty combination to begin with, but add to that the fact that it's been stored in a bag with preservatives for god knows how long, and you get one rather bland, dissolved-plastic tasting salad.

I'm not much of a cook, but the word on the street is that I make some pretty tasty salads. In making these delicious salads, I follow a basic formula:

(1) Fresh Lettuce.

Takes a little more time to chop or tear it up, but not much, and the fresh, preservative-free taste is well worth it. Ice berg is really not a very flavorful lettuce. I personally favor red leaf lettuce.

(2) Fruit.

Strawberries, raspberries, pears, and apples all make good salad fruits.

(3) Cheese.

Swiss, Cheddar, and Gouda are some of my favorites for salads. Cut them into little squares instead of grating them, for better flavor.

(4) Dressing.

Vinaigrettes, Poppy seeds, and bleu cheeses are my favorites, but the key is to have fruits, cheeses, and dressings that compliment each other, which is where the excitement of experimentation comes in.

(5) Nuts (an optional but delicious addition).

I particularly enjoy candied walnuts.

And with a lack of a good ending for this blog, I get back to not working very hard.

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