Flavors That Take You Back (recipe: Layered Salad)
I imagine each and every one of us has a good number of flavors that immediately take each of us back to a specific time and place. That is really one of the amazing things about food. If there is a dish that you had every holiday growing up, simply catching a whiff of a spice or seasoning will take you right back to the gathering.
One of my most prized possessions is the white binder of recipes My Grandma gave me as a bridal shower gift. She was sweet enough to type of all of my favorites and put them into a notebook for me to keep and be able to make for my family. My Grandma was a fantastic cook and was always willing to try new recipes. There was a brief period of time when we lived in our first house that I couldn't find my binder and I was frantic looking for it since I wanted to make My Grandma's pie crust. After a couple of months (yes, I said months), I found it in a box that we hadn't unpacked. Thank goodness I decided to go through a closet filled with things I had forgotten about!
The recipe I'm sharing today, is adapted from the Layered Salad that she used to make for nearly every family get together that I can remember. Since I do try to watch my calorie intake, I had to make some changes to the original recipe and I think they work quite well. As I mentioned before, there are some flavors that just take you back... well, as I was making the Layered Salad, I took a taste of the ranch dressing. Now, I've had ranch dressing all throughout my adult life, but for some reason when I did my quick taste of it to make sure it was mixed well I was taken back to the Sunday dinners we had at our house and Grandma would come with her pretty salad. One thing about whatever My Grandma made, it was always very pretty in presentation. I'd like to think she'd be happy with how mine turned out today.
I'm taking the salad to our neighbor's for today's barbeque as one of my side dish contributions. Now, if you really want to make it as it was originally served, you would include: 10 ounces frozen peas (My Husband doesn't care for frozen peas so I tend to accomodate him by omitting them), 4 hard boiled eggs (diced), and 6 slices of bacon (crumbled). The bacon would be sprinkled on top of the shredded cheese. Oh, and if you aren't watching your calories, you can use the full-fat sour cream and mayo for the dressing.
I made another dish, but I'll share that one tomorrow. I hope everyone is enjoying the long weekend. We have had a bit of rain, but are enjoying the extra time together anyway!
Note: The ingredients are based on using a trifle dish to serve, if you are using a larger dish you will need to make adjustments to the amount of each ingredient.
- 1/2 head iceberg lettuce, shredded
- 1 green bell pepper, diced
- 3-4plum tomatoes, diced
- 4 kirby cucumbers, diced
- 1-2 bunches scallions, thinly sliced
- 2 cups low-fat mayonnaise
- 1 cup reduced fat sour cream
- 1 one ounce package Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing mix
- 8 ounces reduced fat shredded cheddar cheese
- In a trifle dish, layer the lettuce, green bell pepper, tomatoes, cucumbers and scallions.
- Combine the mayo through dressing mix. Make sure to mix thoroughly. Then pour over the top of the vegetables, making sure to seal the edges.
- Sprinkle the cheddar cheese over the top. Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours prior to serving.