The crunchy texture of this salad, with its uniformly diced fresh vegetable ingredients, makes it a perfect accompaniment to any meal. Because of the variety of ingredients, you can use what’s in your refrigerator, on hand, or seasonal.
Finely chop/dice to ¼ inch or mince ingredients according to your preference – any or all of them:
- Carrots, diced (1 cup)
- Scallions, diced (1/4 cup)
- White or yellow onion, diced (1/4 cup)
- Celery, diced (1 cup)
- Jalapeno pepper, finely minced (1 pepper)
- 2 cloves Garlic (or more, to taste), finely minced
- 6 Radishes, diced
- Olives of your choice, diced (1/2 cup) + 2 teaspoons juice
- Banana peppers (pickled), minced (1/4 cup)+ 2 teaspoons juice
- Cucumber, diced (1 cup)
- Lettuce, chopped to 1/2 inch (4 cups)
- Red wine vinegar (1/3 cup)
- Olive oil (1/3 to 1/2 cup)
- Salt (2 teaspoons)
- Pepper (1 teaspoon)
- Spices, as you choose (some suggestions below)
- Parmesan cheese, grated (1/3 cup)
Finely chop/dice ingredients according to your taste and combine in any order or quantities desired. Add a couple of dashes of the brine or juice from pickled banana peppers, olives or other pickled ingredients you incorporate into the salad.
Chop all the “hard” vegetables and add the vinegars and acidic juices, along with any dried spices, adding them to a larger serving bowl. Toss to combine and refrigerate several hours. Before serving, add chopped lettuce, any fresh herbs, the salt, pepper and Parmesan cheese; toss to combine just before serving so lettuce won’t wilt.
- Try adding diced salami and Provolone cheese along with mixed Italian spice blend.
- Curry or Asian spices along with Soy or a little Maggi sauce can change the direction of the dressing completely.
- Lemon zest and juice is a wonderful supplement or substitute for the vinegar.
- Fresh herbs, such as tarragon, marjoram, thyme and/or basil leaves also blend very well.
Is a good ingredient to incorporate, regardless. It lends a nice flavor to the mixed vegetables and combines well with the vinegar and oil dressing.