Salad is like a blank canvas just waiting for the right pairing of veggies and dressing.
Most people think of salad as a side dish that adds nutrition….and while that can certainly be the case, there is no reason not to think of salad as a blank canvas to create a beautiful and tasty addition to your menu.
I’m always surprised when I meet people who think “salad” has one particular definition or picture in their head. To me, salad is the most versatile word in the cooking world. There are cooked salads, raw salads, chopped, deconstructed. Salads that call for grilled lettuce, and salad that doesn’t have lettuce at all! I know people who say that pasta is one of those dishes that matches are made based on how the sauce will hold onto particular shapes. I feel that way about salad and dressing. There are thicker and thinner dressings and they adhere to the components of your salad differently. Some cooked salads need a dressing with more intense flavor, while some veggies (radish, onion, bitter greens) have such an intense flavor that a more mild dressing is called for. Make sense?
I love to play with texture in salads by using different methods to cut the same veggies I may have already used recently in a different way. For example, carrots when cut in large chunks add crunch, but when they are julienned they provide more of a color punch. It’s fun to add ribbons of color or dots of taste into an otherwise ho hum salad. Salad should never be boring. There are so many variables to mix and match and play with!
Personally, my all time favorite way to eat salad is when all of the ingredients are chopped small, so you get a bit of everything in each bite….but I think that ANY salad that is tossed with this green goddess dressing is going to come in a pretty close second. I even toss this dressing onto zoodles (zucchini noodles), cauli-rice, and cooked veggies…..it’s that good!
I like to pair this dressing with larger pieces of lettuce, because it does a good job clinging to the individual leaves without instantly becoming soggy. Here’s what I used for the salad pictured, but feel free to experiment and add your favorite cooked or raw vegetables with this dressing.