I remember growing up, salad was a simple affair.  Lettuce, tomato slices, sometimes a hard-boiled egg and then a dressing of choice.  My parents were staunch Catalina fans.  I don’t think I knew about Ranch (ubiquitous ubiquitous Ranch!) until high school and even then, I used it as dip for chicken fingers.

When I figured out you could put more than tomato slices into a salad, it was like a whole new world opened up!  So many flavors!  And additions!  And experiments!

I really like chopped salads and often eat them for lunch, but I generally fail at making them myself.  It’s sort of like how when I was little and would make myself a sandwich.  I didn’t think too much about how things tasted together.  If it tasted wonderful on its own, went my thought process, surely it would taste even better combined?

It only took one spectacularly bad sandwich to make me realize that sometimes that’s not the case.

I think that thought process is still ingrained in the back of my brain, though, because I still insist on trying weird combinations that usually don’t work.  So the reason this one is actually edible is because I ate this at lunch the other day and loved it, so I made it for Martin so he could also love it.

This salad contains salad greens, diced Granny Smith apples, halved grapes, toasted almond slivers and a creamy poppyseed dressing.  The restaurant I ate it at served it with blue cheese, which gave it some tang, but I can only tolerate blue cheese in certain ways (usually, cooked and on a carb) so I omitted it.

The toasted almonds are a must!  They’re delicious on their own but they really make the salad.  I now want to eat toasted almonds on everything.  Ice cream?  Of course.  Peanut butter sandwiches?  Sure.  Lasagna?  Uhm … okay, so not everything.

I used this recipe for the dressing.  The onion flavor is very prominent.  I also cut back on the sugar by about 1/3.  Several reviewers stated the dressing needed time to “mellow” but I ran out of time and made the dressing right before pouring it on top of the salad.  Martin, who ate the leftovers, commented on the onion-ness the first night but said it was much better the next day.

RACHEL:  You need to make this dressing.  It tastes exactly like the Vidalia Onion dressing we like so much from Village Deli.

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