The Lexingtonienne



Salad Days

Posted in: Recipes

My friend Gena and I met several years ago at a birthday dinner for my then-boyfriend (I have since married him). She thought it was funny that, upon our first meeting, I announced my hatred for salad, and apparently it made her want to be my friend.

I appreciated Gena for not judging me for my salad aversion, and I wanted to be her friend right back.

I really do hate salad. When I lived in Kentucky, I thought I loved salad. Iceberg lettuce, bacon, dressing so thick you can stand a spoon upright in it, maybe even some Fritos. In California, a salad is a plop of field greens with a squirt of lemon juice, maybe even some “edible flowers.” Puh! Puh!

Sorry, but field greens are gross. They’re vascular and stringy and bitter, and for some reason the thought of all the chloroplasts and chlorophyll moving through the leaves really grosses me out.

When we attend weddings or other banquet-style meals where a dreaded mesclun salad is set before me, I smile and say, “Looks delicious!” before I lean over to Hubba Bubba and growl, “Hurry up and eat yours so you can eat mine too. I can’t push these leaves around the plate forever.” Poor Mike has eaten a LOT of mesclun salad.

People think this is funny, that someone can detest salad so sincerely, but I can’t help how I feel.

I can, however, make a REAL salad at home. We’re talking barbecue chicken, corn, cheese, tortilla strips, and lettuce that doesn’t look like weeds that grow in sidewalk cracks.

While we are on the subject of salads, I’d like to say that I generally have a laissez-faire attitude towards government… but I do think that all salads should be required by law to be chopped salads. I am an American. I want the food to get in mah belly as effortlessly as possible. Salad preparers of the world, please stop making me do all the work!

Anyway, this is a fun summertime salad to serve when you have company. You can put all the ingredients into a little buffet line and let everyone assemble their own salad just the way they like it.

For example, Gena doesn’t like barbecue sauce or corn, which is really WEIRD but obviously I am not judging, since our relationship began with her not judging me.

So the moral of this blog post is don’t judge people. And don’t serve salads that aren’t chopped.

Hearts of Romaine lettuce – 1 heart per 2 people – rinsed, dried, and chopped
Chicken breasts – 1 per person
Fresh corn on the cob – 1 ear per 2 people – cooked and with the kernels cut off
Cucumber, chopped
1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed
Fresh tomato, diced
Red onion, thinly sliced (soak the slices in a bowl of water about 5 minutes to take the “sting” off)
Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
Tortilla strips
Barbecue sauce
Salad dressing of your choice – I like ranch or balsamic

Basil chiffonade (this is just when you roll the basil leaves up and slice them thinly)
Jicama, chopped
Avocado, chopped
Cilantro (which I hate more than salad, but if you love it, go for it)

Grill chicken breasts and brush with barbecue sauce. Cut into bite-size pieces and brush with more barbecue sauce if you like (I do). Prepare remaining ingredients, placing into separate bowls. You can do all of this ahead of time and keep your ingredients stored in the fridge until you are ready to serve. When you are ready, create your salad buffet with all the ingredients and allow guests to assemble and dress their own salads.

Bon appetit,



  • Comment by Bonnie — June 23, 2010 @ 3:05 pm

    Hunter has a similar salad recipe, all the same ingredients; but mixes ranch dressing and barbecue sauce for the dressing. very good. thanks Hannah, but I’m eating out tonight.

  • Comment by Gena — June 23, 2010 @ 5:45 pm

    You know, this girl Gena sounds pretty pretty cool…

  • Comment by Melissa Marinaccio — June 23, 2010 @ 8:01 pm

    Recipe sounds yummy!! My mom wanted me to tell you she reads your blog everyday as well and loves it!!!!!

  • Comment by Shae — June 24, 2010 @ 4:47 am

    Note to self: Don’t read Hannah’s blog when I’m hungry…

  • Comment by Hayley — June 24, 2010 @ 4:53 pm

    This looks so yummy and easy to make! I’m loving your blog, Hannah.

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