There was a Seinfeld TV episode where George’s date took credit for bringing a takeout salad to Jerry’s. She carried it in; George had paid for it. She got the credit. George was confounded. The banter was all about The Big Salad. Not the salad. The. Big. Salad. This isn’t that salad, but it’s what I bring to a function when (a) I don’t care about impressing people, (b) people are hungry and (c) there are a lot of people.
Why won’t this technically impress? It’s all packaged foods. NOT junk food. In fact, it’s quite healthy. It is simply a big turkey platter of canned and bagged vegetables. You could do this in a polar vortex as long as you can get your hands on some shredded lettuce. Or (wait for it…) shred some yourself.
Why men love this salad: it’s big. They can scoop just the stuff they like. They can make a mess of it and nobody cares. It isn’t frilly. It isn’t pretentious. Men recognize all the ingredients. There’s no frisee. The platter is the shape of a football, a subliminal bonus.
This is what I do:
- Find the turkey platter;
- Pour two bags of shredded lettuce and spread evenly;
- Gently pour diagonal strips of canned vegetables: green beans, corn, sliced carrots, kidney beans, olives, garbanzos, sliced baby potatoes, and anything else;
- Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve;
- Serve undressed. Provide salad tongs and a few bottles of salad dressings to let people grab whatever they want.
In the photo, you see quartered hard cooked eggs. I’ve used feta cheese, bleu cheese, pine nuts, baby shrimp, kalamata olives, candied walnuts. Sometimes, if I want to be fancy, I line the edges with purple kale, but it isn’t necessary. The Big Salad gets the same reaction, no matter the ingredients.