Saturday, May 12, 2007

RECIPE: Seven-Layer Salad

This is that famous vegetable salad (originally from Kraft Foods, I believe) made in the trifle dish and it is pure, delicious 1950s American kitsch. It is also really, really good. This is what "my husband" is making for the Mother's Day lunch at my parents' house tomorrow. I say "my husband" because I'm going to make the salad, of course. His job is carrying it triumphantly through my parents' front door, making it his salad. I'm sure he could make a Seven-Layer Salad if he wanted to, but he doesn't and I don't mind, so there you have it. Marital harmony and a tasty salad all being synergistic together.

Do you know what I'm talking about? Because I don't. I'd better just do the recipe.

SEVEN-LAYER SALAD

[Edited to add: after making this salad on Sunday morning, I have some revisions]


Salad

1 pound bacon, cooked and crumbled (preferably that peppered bacon)

1 bag romaine salad greens, washed and broken into pieces that can allow you to take a ladylike bite

1 large red onion, chopped

1 10-ounce bag frozen peas, thawed

1 package shredded sharp Cheddar cheese (or more if you like cheese)

2 cups cauliflower, washed and chopped in bite-sized pieces

Dressing

2 cups Hellmann's mayonnaise (you can use other brands, but this is the best-tasting in my opinion. Although my grandma often made her own from the Julia Child cookbook)

3 tablespoons white sugar

3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (once again, the kind in the green cylinder will do, but the taste is different - better - if you buy an actual hunk of Parmesan or use the coarsely-grated kind that comes in a little plastic container)

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Mix the dressing ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside.

Reserve a few bacon crumbles for the top of the salad.

Layer the salad in your trifle dish (if you're going for show) or wooden salad bowl (if you're cynically aware that it's just going to be all mixed together and eaten anyway) starting with the spinach leaves. Add the remaining ingredients in the following order: red onion, peas, cheese, cauliflower, bacon. Top with the dressing and garnish with bacon crumbles and a sprinkling of paprika, no matter how much your foodie cousin mocks you.

This will serve a goodly number of people if offered as a salad, that is to say, a side dish. It is also wonderful as a main summer meal, served with garlic bread. If that's the case, it will make six servings.

1 comment:

Kbg said...

I will have to give this version a whirl...my version is slightly different...probably because I'm from Iowa and you are from Indiana...regional differences in 7 Layer Salads! Yours sounds just as yummy. Happy Mother's Day tomorrow!