There’s just something about That Good Salad. This much-requested recipe has everything a good salad needs–fresh greens, crunchy nuts and croutons, a bright garlic dressing, and bacon, of course!
I was standing in line at Carter’s doing a little Christmas shopping when I got a text from my husband: “I just cat-called a lady on the sidewalk outside Carter’s that I thought was you. I’m staying in the car.”
Well, that certainly explained why he hadn’t joined me inside yet. Being the gentleman that he was, he had dropped me off in front of the store 10 minutes earlier and gone to find parking. Unfortunately, as he circled back around the over-crowded parking lot, that same gentleman happened to spot a woman who looked shockingly like me (especially in our matching puffy, black, fur lined winter coats) and proceeded to let out an exuberant “owww owww!” in her general direction. When the woman turned to face him with an expression that was clearly annoyed (and clearly not me!), my husband shrank into the seat of his car and immediately signed up for the witness protection program.
When I got the text, I couldn’t help letting out a little yelp of laughter. I love that I’m married to a man who still wants to cat call his wife but is also genuinely mortified at the prospect of ever cat-calling a random stranger. He’s a good one.
We’re kicking off the new year with a salad. I know. I’m so basic. But guys, this isn’t one of those dumb salads you force yourself to eat because it’s good for you, and you made that pesky resolution to eat salad every day in 2017. There’s no “forcing” when it comes to this salad, only asking for seconds.
I got this recipe from my best friend, who brought it to a dinner party a few months ago. It was go good, I texted her immediately after she left, begging for the recipe. She texted me back a few minutes later with a picture of the recipe in her family’s cookbook. The title? “That Good Salad.” No other description needed.
Of course, I’m a food writer, so I feel the need to give you a little more description. Let’s start with the lettuce–a simple mixture of romaine and curly kale. I slice it into thin strips, which is ideal for soaking up dressing and giving you a fresh crunch in every bite.
Then there are the toppings–halved grape tomatoes, mozzarella and Parmesan cheese, toasty slivered almonds, crumbled bacon, and croutons. It’s all you ever needed in a salad–fresh, crunchy, creamy, and bacony. That’s like the four food groups of salad, right?
Everything is tossed in the easiest ever lemon garlic dressing. The dressing is bright, but subtle, hanging out in the background and letting all those amazing toppings shine. If I’m feeling feisty, I like to add an extra clove or two of garlic to the dressing for a big pop of flavor. One note about the croutons–I like to rough em up a bit so they’re in small crumbles instead of big honking squares. This evenly distributes the crunch factor and also keeps you from cutting the roof of your mouth on a giant crouton. Win-win.
This year, resolve to eat deliciously…and maybe to avoid cat calling people other than your spouse, too. Just a little word of advice from a guy I know.
That Good Salad
This is my idea of a perfect salad--packed with fresh veggies, plenty of crunch, salty bacon, and Parmesan cheese!
- 1 cup slivered almonds
- 8 strips bacon
- 1 romaine lettuce head
- 2 stalks curly kale, stems removed
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- 1 cup croutons, coarsely chopped
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 2-3 big garlic cloves, minced
- 3/4 cup olive oil
- Salt and Pepper, to taste
- Add the bacon to a cold skillet and fry until crispy. Remove to a paper towel lined plate and allow to drain, then chop the bacon into small pieces.
- In a dry skillet, toast the slivered almonds for a few minutes, stirring often, until lightly browned and fragrant. Cool.
- Chop the kale and romaine into thin strips. In a bowl, toss together the cherry tomatoes, cheeses, croutons, nuts, and bacon.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice and garlic. Pour the oil slowly into the mixture, whisking constantly. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Toss the salad with the dressing and serve.