Super Salad for a Crowd

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As summer approaches, I am gearing up for company at the pool behind our condo. It is actually more like a swim club, because it has lovely trees around it and cabanas line two sides of the area to give us privacy from the street. This is our summer long vacation, starting with Memorial Day. Salad is always on the menu, and if Memorial Day weekend is warm, then this salad will be front and center on the outdoor menu.

Feel free to be flexible with the ingredients. Purchase as many as you can locally and organically. Use your imagination with special items you want to try. You can always put them on the side. The rule of thumb I have read is that you need one head of lettuce for every eight people, so that may help you determine how much you need.

Utensils: Cutting board, knife, salad spinner (opt.), large servng bowl
Prep. Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: None!
Category: Vegan, unless you choose to add feta cheese

Ingredients (Local & Organic whenever possible)

Note: You need not use all of these ingredients. I listed more than you actually need, so choose what you like best.

2 heads of organic lettuce
(I like red tipped curly and Romaine), washed and spun dry
(Feel free to substitute spinach or arugula)
one package radishes, washed, trimmed and sliced or grated and/or
one container grape tomatoes, cut in half or left whole
one bunch of scallions, washed, trimmed, and cut crosswise into 1/2″ slices
one cucumber, peeled if not organic; otherwise can be left peeled, then sliced into thin rings
3-4 stalks of celery, washed, trimmed, and cut into small chunks
one-two yellow summer squash, washed and grated
one-two zucchini, washed and grated
one red and one yellow bell pepper, washed & cut in half lengthwise, seeds removed,
and cut into slivers
fresh herbs: dill, oregano, fennel, oregano, etc. (any of these). Wash and trim, and use
whole or chopped
alfalfa, radish or clover sprouts, separated (They tend to clump.)
salt, pepper, and garlic powder or fresh, chopped garlic to taste
olive oil and/or macadamia oil (or oil of your choice) and lemon juice or vinegar
(or your own salad dressing of choice)
Optional Items: olives, crumbled feta cheese, capers, croutons, coarsely chopped
walnuts or pecans, pomegranate seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds.

Directions

1. Wash the lettuces well. I tear them by hand, because cutting them with a knife makes the leaves turn brown quicker. I put the pieces in the salad spinner after I rip them because of their large size, but if you use a towel to dry the leaves, you can rip them after you dry them.
2. Wash and prepare all the other veggies as indicated above and add to the serving bowl. Also add any of the optional ingredients or any of your choosing, except the herbs and sprouts, because the salad dressing will wilt them.
3. Right before you are ready to serve, drizzle salad with oil (about 3-4 tablespoons or more, if you like it wet) and juice of one lemon if small, 1/2 lemon if large and juicy. ) Add salt, pepper, & garlic to taste. Toss the salad, adjusting seasonings if necessary. Add fresh herbs and sprouts and toss gently. Serve immediately.

Note: Feel free to add any of the optional ingredients I listed. You can always put them on the side if you feel your guests may not like, for example, capers. Keep in mind, also, that the kind of oil you use makes a big difference in the flavor. Additionally, vinegars come in all flavors, so feel free to experiment with those if you don’t like lemon juice.

Make a crowd-pleasing salad, but make it your salad, not mine!

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