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Delight Guests with a Layered Salad

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Want to delight your friends and family with a delicious and nutritious dish they will love? I have found that when I make this layered salad, it gets completely eaten and much faster than a traditional tossed salad.

Whether it be for a big party, a small gathering, or just a family dinner, creating a layered salad is fun, delicious and can be made in advance, yet will keep for longer than regular salads.

I first saw this years ago at a family member’s party, so thank you Beth for the great idea! She created a beautiful looking layered salad that was truly a work or art and delicious too. What I also liked was that the greens stayed fresh due to the way she layered the ingredients.

There’s a lot of flexibility here too with ingredients depending on your preferences and favorites. It’s almost like making a pizza, but the base is greens.

Directions

  • Use a large serving dish so you have a big canvas from which to work.
  • Start with a layer of the greens on the bottom.
  • Salt, season and pepper the greens.
  • Layer one level or either the mozzarella, or if vegan, a layer of avocado or another vegetable that makes big slices so you can cover most of the greens.
  • Drizzle with olive oil and glaze and seasoning.
  • Layer the next vegetable or a combination of vegetables.
  • Drizzle again. I sometimes do one layer or drizzle just with pepper and olive oil then the next layer with balsamic and dry herbs and fresh herbs combined.
  • There is no correct way, just have fun!
  • It’s a work of art, so enjoy laying the veggies down so they are creatively designed and well spread throughout the platter.
  • After I have made the salad 3-6 layers deep, I finish with seasoning, oil and glaze once more on top and maybe some grated parmesan. I cover the salad and chill in the fridge until serving time.

Since the greens are not tossed in oil and vinegar/glaze and they are under a protective veggie layer, they will not wilt! Also, I usually serve this salad with a large spoon or spatula. That way people can scoop up a large area and keep it from falling apart when they transfer the salad to their plates. It truly is like a pizza of vegetables!

Here are some tips on ingredients. I have listed a bunch of ideas, however, not all need to be used together. I certainly have my favorites, so follow your palate and you will create a beautiful dish of edible art!

Layered Salad
Layered Salad

Condiments

  • Cracked pepper (Use organic please! Most conventional pepper is processed in China and includes ground up sneakers as filler – gross and not kidding!)
  • Salt – my favorite is the Real Salt Seasoning Salt with organic vegetable seasoning added to the salt.
  • Olive oil
  • Balsamic – vinegar or glaze like Nonna Pia’s yummy non-GMO glaze.
  • Nutritional Yeast
  • Dry spices – I like to use an Italian seasoning mix

Bottom Layer

  • Start with the greens on the bottom. I like to use spinach and romaine lettuce or baby kale.
  • If the greens are baby greens just sprinkle them all over the plate.
  • Or if using larger leaves like with romaine, cut them into bite size pieces and sprinkle over the plate.

Raw Vegetables – Pick and choose

  • Avocado – sliced
  • Cucumber
  • Tomato – sliced
  • Red Pepper – diced
  • Carrot – grated

Herbs

  • Basil – fresh & chopped
  • Cilantro – fresh & chopped
  • Parsley – fresh & chopped

Cooked & Pickled Vegetables – Pick and choose

  • Crimini mushrooms – I saute mushrooms in olive oil and a splash Braggs. I put the mushrooms aside to cool before layering them on the salad.
  • Beets – either pickled or cooked, cooled and sliced
  • Marinated artichoke heats
  • Olives
  • Picked green beans
  • Picked asparagus
  • Grilled asparagus – cooled before layering
  • Roasted peppers – skin removed, cooled and sliced into small pieces
  • Zuchini or squash – sliced, grilled & cooled

Dairy – Optional

  • Mozarella – slice a mozzarella loaf so you have good size pieces for layering – the non-vegans love this layer!
  • Grated parmesan sprinkled on top.
  • If you are vegan, use nutritional yeast to sprinkle over layers to add that cheesy nutty flavor.

Honestly, every time I have made this dish, I receive countless compliments; the best one being an empty dish to clean. This style of salad gets devoured! Food is my love language and this certainly makes me feel good when I know people are happy from eating the food I make. If you like providing joy through food, give it a whirl and let me know it goes!

Another great dish, especially if you are want something healthy easy to make with vegetables that is great all year round, are colorful roasted vegetables. Both of these dishes work great in sometime for gathering and barbeques, or help brighten up a winter feast or turkey dinner.