When you think of a salad, most of us think of the basic tossed salad. It seems we tend to make this salad more than any other and we also lean towards making it the same way over and over again. This has become a habit with many, including myself.
I'd like to share with you a recipe for a salad that's not quite like the regular tossed salad and it's for a "Seven-Layer Salad." This is a salad that you make ahead to chill overnight. It consists of layered vegetables, along with hard-cooked eggs, cheese, and Ranch dressing mix. It's a luscious combination of flavors and you may find yourself making this salad more regularly than the traditional tossed salad.
This recipe has many variations and has been around for years. This recipe would have to rank as the best of its type, as far as I'm concerned! You'll see by the recipe that it calls for a head of regular Iceberg lettuce. If you preferred, another type of lettuce, such as Romaine, could be used instead. Another option is to use fresh spinach, which is something I enjoy in a salad. This salad has a lot of crunch, given that it also calls for celery and onions, which definitely add to the flavor of this salad.
You'll see that it calls for hard-cooked eggs. Here's a quick lesson in how to cook eggs so that the yolks don't have the unappetizing green appearance we sometimes find with hard-cooked eggs. This is a chemical reaction within the yolk when the eggs are overcooked. To avoid this, place the raw eggs in a deep saucepan, covering with cold water to about an inch above the eggs. Some cooks add salt to the water, which is said to help in making the eggs easier to peel. Cover the pan and place over high heat. When the water comes to a fast boil, remove the pan from the heat and let the eggs stand for about 15-20 minutes. Drain the water from the eggs and pour cold water over them. Let sit again until cool enough to handle. The eggs will be cooked perfectly and there won't be a green film on the yolks.
While on the subject of salads, I shared a recipe for "Million Dollar Rice Salad" that's inexpensive and very good. It contains rice, along with cream cheese, crushed pineapple and marshmallows. Here's the link in case you don't already have it:
If you've gotten tired of making salad the same way, give this one a try and you may find this to be your regular salad recipe!
- 1 head Iceberg lettuce
- 1 (10 oz.) pkg. English peas, thawed (not the buttered version)
- 1 small can water chestnuts, chopped
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 1/2 lb. bacon, cooked, drained and crumbled OR 1 jar bacon bits
- 6 hard-cooked eggs, sliced
- 1-1/2 cups Hellman's mayonnaise
- 1 envelope Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing
- about 2 tablespoons milk, if needed
Break lettuce into small pieces and spread in a long dish. Sprinkle peas over lettuce. Top with the chestnuts, onions, celery, bacon and eggs. Scatter cheese over the eggs. Mix the mayonnaise with the dressing mix, adding the milk to thin the mixture, if needed. Pour over the entire salad, cover and chill overnight. Yield: about 10-12 servings.