Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Layered Salad

I made a layered salad for a family function this week & thought I should share my recipe with you.  I guess it's salad week here!  I first brought a layered salad to a family get-together several years ago, and ever since that first time it has become the dish I'm asked to bring.  Everyone loves a layered salad- I think because it's like getting a salad bar in a bowl!  Layered salad works best with a large glass bowl.  Don't have one?  You can be creative- what about a punch bowl?  Or how about the top from a cake platter, turned upside down (nested in a bowl of ice)?

When I make layered salad I plan it with two things in mind: one, keeping green layers (lettuce, cucumbers, peas, green onion, etc.) separated by non-green layers (red peppers, carrots, beets, mushrooms, cheese).  This helps each layer stand out (I place some things sideways against the side of bowl so they're more visible), and adds a lot to the visual appeal.  The second thing I think about is keeping moist items (cucumbers, frozen peas) away from dry items (cheese, mushrooms, boiled egg, croutons).

I always put the dressing on the side- if you haven't yet you might want to try my recipe for Ranch Salad Dressing.  I'm going to give you my basic outline for this salad, but it does flex & change depending on what's on hand for produce (use more or less of the ingredients listed, depending on your preference).  Try it out for your next family get together or neighborhood potluck- as long as you don't mind everyone insisting you bring it everytime!
 No picture of my salad- I didn't get a chance to before it was served & then there was nothing left!   So, here is my salad bowl & the salad serving "hands" I have from Alaska.

Layered Salad 
Several hours to a day ahead of time: hard boil 2 to 3 eggs & chill, remove peas from freezer to thaw

4 cups torn salad greens (I usually use green leaf or romaine, but a mix of green & red leaf would look nice)
2 to 3 carrots, sliced extremely thin or shredded
1 to 2 cups frozen peas, thawed, or fresh
3 large tomatoes, cut into wedges
1 cucumber, sliced & quartered
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1 cup sliced beets
1 to 2 cups sliced mushrooms
4 green onions, sliced
4 to 8 ounces cooked turkey, chicken, or ham, sliced into thin strips
2 or 3 hard cooked eggs, chopped
1 to 2 cups shredded cheese
1 cup seasoned croutons

In a large glass bowl, layer ingredients (in order listed is suggested).


P.S.  If you forget to thaw the peas ahead of time place them in a colander and run warm water over them.

This post is a part of Real Food Wednesdays and Fight Back Fridays.


  1. My mom had a friend that used to make an amazing layered salad - I haven't thought of it in years but that's a GREAT make-ahead meal for busy days!

  2. yes- you're right- if made ahead of time (like in the morning) I would keep the cheese, meat & croutons separate so they don't get soggy... then you've got "better than fast food" in the evening! Would also be great for busy nights when family members are eating at different times. :)


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