Wait for the Lord; Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the Lord.
Psalms 27: 14
I do not like boring salads. I want out of salad, the same things I want out of life: spice, surprise, diversity, adventure, joy. OK so maybe those are big shoes for a salad to fill. But come on, those little sad salads that involve a couple pieces of limp lettuce, a shredded carrot (that is probably dried out), and a puddle of $2.99 salad dressing just doesn’t cut it in my book. So, I may be a little passionate about my salads. But that is because I have tasted some AMAZING salads in my day. Once you have a phenomenal salad, there just ain’t no going back to those feeble “salads”.
And no matter what type of diet you eat, you can still make a salad that fits the bill. I personally have been eating low carb, so this salad recipe does not have any breads/crackers added to it. But say, you are counting calories, nix the pepperoni, lower the amount of cheese and add in my homemade crouton recipe. You get the idea. Because I have the secret ingredient to a perfect salad. Are you ready for it? Drum roll please….
CRUNCH. A salad must have crunch. Yep that is it. No salad is a flop with crunchiness. Whether that be from fried wontons, a good crunchy lettuce, sunflower seeds.
We’ve got a lot of crunch going on in this salad, with cabbage, radishes and sunflower seeds. The rising star is cabbage. Cabbage gets such a bad rap, but guys uncooked cabbage has no flavor, none, zip, zero. Go buy some cabbage and take a bite, it is flavorless but it’s got crunch! I would almost guarantee you have eaten cabbage in your salad before. Most Asian salads have cabbage in them, and there are getting to be a lot of prepackaged salads that have cabbage in them as well.
I used a green leafy lettuce, that I normally love. But honestly it did not hold up well with this vinaigrette, I think in the future I would use Romaine lettuce instead. No matter what type of lettuce you choose to place in this salad, I would not put the dressing on, no more than 30 minutes prior to serving. It is pretty acidic and will start to make the lettuce wilt, how quickly will depend on the lettuce you choose.
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 clove garlic/1 teaspoon garlic paste
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon mustard powder
- ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 small head of lettuce chopped (approximately 4 cups)
- 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes sliced in half
- 5-6 radishes chopped
- ½ cup cabbage chopped
- 6 oz package of pepperoni whole and chopped or presliced
- 6 oz ham - thick cut, chopped
- 8 oz block of provolone chopped
- ⅓ cup green onions you guessed it ... chopped
- 2 oz can black olives
- ¼ cup hulled sunflower seeds
- ¼ cup shredded Parmesan
- red pepper flakes
- Pepperocini peppers
- shredded Parmesan
- In a small mixing bowl add in all ingredients for salad dressing.
- Whisk until it is emulsified, or preferably place in blender or use a immersion blender, to emulsify dressing.
- Set dressing aside until ready for use.
- Place tomatoes on a plate, internal side up. Lightly salt tomatoes. Set aside.
- In a very large bowl mix together all salad ingredients, including tomatoes.
- Slowly add in dressing, mix salad together well. Add dressing to desired preference. I used approximately ⅔ of the dressing.
- serve with additional Parmesan cheese, Pepperocini peppers, and red pepper flakes.
I chopped most all the meat and cheese in approximately ¼" cubes. Chop to your preference.