Salad Fixins

Let me just tell you right away that this is not about sex. Sorry. Get your mind out of the gutter. I got an email from a friend this week that said “Help! I’m having book club tonight and I have to serve dinner and I’m sick of the stuff I usually make – any suggestions?” And since I ALWAYS have an opinion or a suggestion, I recommended Chopped Salad with Fresh Baked Breadsticks. Here’s what I love about Chopped Salad

• it’s flexible, you can mix all different types of ingredients depending on what’s already in the fridge

• it’s low-carb for your skinny bitch friends

• it’s pretty, I love the mix of colors when you throw in some beets or asparagus

• it only takes about 15 minutes to make a very impressive dish

I have a couple of favorite types of Chopped Salad, Italian and Greek. Italian could include the following (but feel free to mix it up!):

• romaine lettuce

• dry salami

• havarti cheese (with dill is even better)

• pepperocinis

• garbanzo beans

Remember that a Chopped Salad by definition is, well, chopped. Everything should be in small cubes and I love it when the lettuce is shredded. For the Greek version I would do:

• romaine lettuce

• feta cheese

• pitted kalamata olives

• artichoke hearts

You could make homemade breadsticks with this delicious recipe from or you could be slightly less domestic (like me) and buy the canned Pillsbury breadsticks and sass them up by twisting a filler like basil and mozzarella into the dough before baking. Last time I made them I brushed a little olive oil and sprinkled garlic salt on top and they were delish.

World’s Greatest Italian Dressing. For Real.

So the big secret to a fabulous salad is the dressing. Your local grocer carries plenty of brands but even I make my own homemade salad dressing and it always gets rave reviews. Three generations in my family call this recipe their all time fav:

1/2 c olive oil (I prefer light virgin cuz I myself am a light virgin. Bahahaha! I actually like it to be a little tart, which is more accurate)

1/4 c red wine vinegar

2 t Hidden Valley Ranch dry dressing mix

1 t ketchup (cuz white trash recipes ALWAYS include ketchup)