No holiday dinner or family gathering would be complete without this salad. Pretty layers of brightly colored vegetables, cheese and beans look inviting. There’s something gratifying about being the first one to spoon in and mess up the once tidy layers.
What iceberg lettuce lacks in glamor, it more than makes up for in practicality. Layered lettuce salad with a triple infusion of green crunch is a dish for all seasons. Yes, come summer the salad would be better with local lettuce, peas and onions. Year-round layered lettuce salad makes a lively addition to a table.
More Healthy Ingredients
Seven layer salad is nothing new, but my extra touches are different. Layers of light red kidney beans, piece of cauliflower and peas in the pod add more substance. For a healthy finish, sprinkle toasted and salted sunflower seeds on top.
Bacon Notes Old and New
Food preferences change with a table turn faster than you can say, “fast casual.” Good-old bacon is trendy now. Put a few crumbles in a salad and the dish is transformed into an updated culinary delight. When I was a kid, most every salad recipe had some bacon, gasp — sometimes the crunch dried out of the shaker kind. Today, I use environmentally correct Morningstar vegetarian bacon strips.
Layered Lettuce Salad
Ingredients:10 ounces bacon 6 cups cleaned, dried, chopped lettuce 2 cups canned kidney beans, drained 2 cups bite-sized cauliflower, washed, dried 2 cups fresh peas in the pod, slivered 6 hard-cooked eggs 1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese 1/4 cup sliced green onions 1 1/3 cups salad dressing (Miracle Whip) Paprika Freshly ground pepper Sunflower seeds, roasted and salted
Fry bacon until crisp and brown. Set aside to drain. Let cool and crumble.
Place 3 cups of the lettuce in bottom of large bowl serving bowl; a trifle dessert bowl is perfect. Top with kidney beans, cauliflower, peas, reserved bacon, hard-boiled eggs, remaining lettuce, Cheddar cheese and green onions. Spread salad dressing over the top to edge of bowl to cover entire salad. Sprinkle with paprika and freshly ground pepper. Cover and chill for a few hours or overnight before serving.