By Eileen Goltz
Summer is over. Not officially over, but rather in a “school has started, all the pools are closed, and High Holy Day items are in the grocery aisles” kind of way. The temperature still hasn’t gotten the memo that it’s supposed to drop to a tolerable level, and I still want to eat cool meals without heating up the kitchen. (I’m also thinking about what to serve in the sukkah.) This is when I start making layered salads. Great veggies are available, they don’t take long to throw together, and I can whip them up in the morning so they are ready to go when I’m ready to go—when we get home from shul and I need to feed my horde of hungry guests.
The standard ingredients in most layered salads are lettuce or spinach (or both!), hard-boiled eggs, meat or smoked fish, grated cheese (if it’s a fish dish), green onions, and green peas, layered in a pretty glass bowl so the layers can be seen in all their glory.
But the true sign of a great layered salad is the dressing: an incredibly simple topping spread over all the goodies to “seal in” the flavor of the ingredients below. After that, it’s covered, refrigerated for at least 1 hour and preferably 6 to 12 (you can make it the night before for lunch the next day), and then tossed just before serving. It’s a perfect dish for Shabbos or yom tov, or just for an evening when making dinner in the morning is ideal for someone on the go.
Note: One 10-ounce bag of salad greens yields 4–5 cups; all the salads can be tossed and eaten immediately, but all of them taste better if they are chilled for at least one hour before serving. v
Classic Layered Salad
Meat. Serves 8–10.
2 heads lettuce (iceberg, romaine, or a combination), chopped
8 oz. baby spinach, torn
salt and pepper, to taste
2 cans sliced water chestnuts, drained
8 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
1 lb. crisp cooked kosher breakfast beef, crumbled; or pastrami or salami, chopped
4 large tomatoes, seeded and chopped
10 green onions, green and white parts, sliced thin
1 bag (10-oz.) frozen peas
½ cup mayonnaise
½ cup pareve sour cream
1 Tbsp. sugar
up to 2 Tbsp. fresh dill, chopped, or 1 Tbsp. dried
In large glass bowl, combine and mix the lettuce and spinach. Sprinkle the water chestnuts on top of the greens. Sprinkle the eggs on top of the water chestnuts, then the crumbled meat on top. Spoon the tomatoes over the top of the meat. Sprinkle a little salt and pepper over the tomatoes, then add a layer of the green onions. Sprinkle the peas on top.
In another bowl, combine and mix the mayonnaise, pareve sour cream, sugar, and dill. Spoon the dressing over the top of the peas and cover the bowl with plastic wrap.
Modified from a Bon Appétit article
Seafood Layered Salad
Dairy and Fish. Serves 8–10.
8 cups mixture of torn romaine and bib lettuce and spinach
2 8-oz. cans sliced water chestnuts, drained
½ cup chopped red onion
2 cups (about 7 oz.) fresh snow pea pods, halved
4 stalks celery, chopped
2 cans baby corn, drained and cut into pieces
1 lb. kosher imitation crabmeat chopped into bite-sized pieces
½ cup mayonnaise
½ cup sour cream (or pareve sour cream)
1 Tbsp. prepared white horseradish
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. lemon juice
In large glass bowl, combine and mix the lettuce and spinach. Sprinkle the water chestnuts on top of the greens. Sprinkle the red onions on top of the water chestnuts, then the snow pea pods. Sprinkle the chopped celery, then add the imitation crab. Place the baby corn on top.
In another bowl, combine mayonnaise, sour cream, horseradish, mustard, lemon juice, and dill, and mix to combine. Spoon the dressing over the top of the baby corn and cover the bowl with plastic wrap.
Submitted by Lois Rose, Glenview, IL
Tex-Mex Layered Salad
Meat. Serves 6 for lunch and 4 for dinner.
6 cups torn romaine lettuce
2 cups shredded cooked chicken
11-oz. can corn, drained, liquid saved
2 Tbsp. taco seasoning mix
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded, chopped
½ cup pareve ranch dressing
1 cup corn chips, crumbled
2 Tbsp. salsa
In a bowl, combine the chicken and taco seasoning. Mix to coat. Set aside. In another bowl, place the lettuce on the bottom. Place the chicken on top of the lettuce. Spoon the corn on top of the chicken, then the chopped peppers, celery, and jalapeño. Drizzle the dressing over the top. Just before serving, spoon the salsa over the dressing and then top with the crumbled corn chips. Mix to combine, and serve.
Submitted by Marcie Flickenger, Chicago, IL
Dairy and Fish. Serves 6.
¾ cup plain yogurt
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 Tbsp. honey
1 tsp. minced garlic
¼ tsp. salt
¾ tsp. pepper
⅓ cup parsley, chopped
1 tsp. lemon zest
1 cup shredded romaine lettuce
2 cups fennel, thinly sliced
2 cups blueberries or seedless red grapes
8 oz. smoked salmon (not lox) or whitefish if you prefer, broken into bite-sized pieces
½ medium-sized honeydew, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 medium-sized cantaloupe, cut into chunks
In a small bowl, combine the yogurt, olive oil, lemon juice, honey, garlic, salt, and ½ teaspoon of the pepper. Whisk to combine, and set aside.
In another bowl, combine the lemon zest, parsley, and remaining pepper, and set aside. In a glass bowl, place the shredded lettuce on the bottom. Next, place the cantaloupe on top of the lettuce, then layer the fennel, blueberries, salmon, and honeydew in that order. Sprinkle the parsley mixture over the top of the honeydew. Cover for at least 1 hour and up to 12; just before serving, spoon the dressing over the top and toss to coat.
You can substitute 8 ounces of imitation crabmeat for the smoked fish.
© Eileen Goltz
Eileen Goltz is a freelance kosher foods writer. She graduated from Indiana University and the Cordon Bleu Cooking School in Paris. She lectures on various food-related topics across the U.S. and Canada and writes columns for the CJN in Chicago, kosherscoop.com, and the OU Shabbat Shalom website, www.ou.org. She also wrote the Perfectly Pareve Cookbook (Feldheim).