My friends Anne and Michael live in London, and during a recent visit stateside, they introduced me to the term "butler's salad," which apparently refers to a salad comprised of pantry (or refrigerator) odds and ends. I couldn't get enough of Anne's butler's salad, and ever since that visit I've been inspired to eat a lot more greens (and make use of random leftovers from the fridge). However, given the frequency with which I'm now consuming salad and the fact that I'm often assembling while carrying baby Violet, I've also found it super helpful to do some prep work in advance. Here are my 4 steps to building an awesome butler's salad:
1. Toss greens in a large lidded container. Typically, I buy a huge tub of greens at the grocery store but our CSA started this week so now I'll source greens from our weekly pick up.
2. Scour fridge for leftover veggies. And/or prep a variety of veggies in advance. Add to the greens all those little leftover bits...remnants from the baby carrots bag, the last quarter of a cucumber, etc. Or I've taken to prepping veggies all at once to save time on assembly through the week. For example, this week I prepped the following into one big container: cucumber, bell pepper, carrots, grape tomatoes, and corn (steamed and shaved off the cob). I also always have avocados and cashews on hand to add to the mix.
3. Add protein/carb type leftovers. And/or prep in advance. The salad really becomes a meal once you add some protein or carbs. I've added leftover steak or chicken, or sometimes I'll hardboil a bunch of eggs to have on hand through the week. This week I roasted a big batch of potatoes, which are great in this salad or in quesadillas or as a side to whatever Laurel is eating.
4. Drizzle with dressing and toss. Your container now is pretty full! Add your favorite dressing, or if you don't have one on hand simply drizzle a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and sprinkle coarse salt and pepper over the top of the salad. Then the key is to put the lid on the container and give the container a good shake to toss everything together.
And there you have it. I've been known to eat these salads as lunch and dinner, sometimes several days straight. Kind of like this week. Enjoy!
Image credit: Piyachok Thawornmat via FreeDigitalPhotos.net