Menu Note:
House Salad
2 April 2018

¶ I found that house salad recipe over the weekend, and made it on Saturday night. It was, indeed, very good. Having glanced at it when I came across it in the Magazine at the beginning of March, I remembered that there is a trick to it, and the trick, as Sam Sifton says, is time. Basically, you combine everything except the lettuce in a small bowl —

  • wedges of ping-pong ball-sized tomatoes
  • thin slices of red onion
  • chopped celery
  • pinched olives

— and bathe it in plenty of olive oil and a dash of vinegar, with seasoning to taste. Then you stash it in the fridge for a while, say for about an hour. How great is that! Instead of dithering with these odds and ends in the run-up to serving, you get them out of the way ahead of time. (You can prep the lettuce, too, and bag it.)

When you’re ready to eat, you tear iceberg leaves into a large bowl, and then you dump the marinated fixings on top of them. Despite Mark Iacono’s dire warnings, I tossed away. Also, I didn’t see the need for any more dressing. 

The result, even without lemon pepper (I didn’t know they still made it), was an ideal salad-on-the-side. The lettuce was sweet and crisp, while the taste of everything else was heightened by the marination. In summer, I may substitute fresh corn for the olives, and I’m certainly going to experiment with herbs. 

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