Saturday, March 17, 2007
Dorcas Annette Walker
Spring is the time to start gardens. Even if a person doesn’t have a garden spot to grow a lot of stuff, planters are ideal for mini gardens. Lettuce needs to be planted early to do well. I’ve always had a garden spot for lettuce, onions, and radishes. Today we can buy ingredients for a fresh salad year round in the store, but there is nothing like the joy of walking outside to pick fresh lettuce or herbs to make a salad. Over the years my large garden spot has been changed to a flower bed and herb garden. Even so I plan on squeezing some lettuce and a few radishes in my herb garden between the parsley and chives this spring. One can never have too many plants.
There are all kinds of Seven-Layer Salad recipes to choose from ranging from mild salads to more of a western-style salad that can be used as a main dish. I even found a recipe for a Seven-Layer Salad for the birds that sounds good enough to eat- check it out below! Either way no matter how picky your family is when it comes to eating salads there is bound to be a Seven-Layer Salad recipe that will temp the taste buds. The great thing about making a Seven-Layer Salad is that this salad can be made ahead of time- even a day earlier. So mix and match the following ingredients to your heart’s content. If you need a quick casserole add more layers from some of the ideas below. My mountain style Seven-Layer Salad is simple to prepare, taking around twenty minutes or so to fix, and serves ten.
6 c lettuce broken into bite-size pieces
1 c broccoli
1 c cauliflower
1 c frozen peas
Spread 2 c mayonnaise or salad dressing (both are similar in flavor although salad dressing is usually a bit sweeter than mayonnaise) over the top to the edges to seal in the salad, which will keep the salad nice and crisp.
Sprinkle on top:
1 c shredded cheddar cheese
½ c bacon bits
Cover and chill in refrigerator until time to serve. May garnish with croutons!
Variations for Seven-Layer Salad:
- In place of lettuce use mixed salad greens, fresh spinach, Romaine lettuce or Iceberg.
- Layer in: cucumber slices, shredded red cabbage, diced tomatoes, black olives, Bermuda or green onion rings, mushrooms, sliced celery, grated carrots, slivered radishes, red or green peppers, chunks of hard boiled eggs, or a diced avocado.
- Top with: grated Parmesan cheese, feta cheese, croutons, chives, or a sprinkle of paprika.
- Western style salad: layer lettuce, crushed Fritos or tortilla chips, chopped tomatoes, cheddar cheese, one can of Mexi-beans or pinto beans (drained) one large jar of Italian salad dressing, and top with red onion rings.
- Bird Seven-Layer Salad: layer chopped greens, cubes vegetables (such as Brussels sprouts, zucchini, cucumber, green beans, red or green peppers, etc.), chopped broccoli and shredded carrots, uncooked pasta, drained canned pinto beans, and top with frozen mixed vegetables!
Dorcas Annette Walker is a freelance writer, author, columnist, and photographer from Jamestown, TN. If you have any cooking tips or favorite recipes you are welcome to contact me by mail at: Dorcas Walker, 929 Wildwood Lane, Jamestown, TN 38556 or email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about the Walker family and Dorcas’ books check out her website at: www.dorcasannettewalker.com or htpp://dorcasannettewalker.blogspot.com for other Creative Mountain Cookin recipes.