Salad Cravings

The first time I realized I had a problem with salads was when I found myself going to the same place for lunch every day for a month (okay, longer)…because I was addicted to their chopped salad. Co-workers stopped going to lunch with me. Apparently, they thought you could have too much of a good thing.

Sometimes, I just don’t understand people.

I’ve also been obsessed with Wedge Salads. It’s an incredibly simple salad, featuring the much-maligned Iceberg lettuce. Sometimes, however, Iceberg is the perfect lettuce…think of how satisfying it is on a hot summer day!

As a gluten-free diner, I know salads are often the safest food on the menu. I also know they’re often the most boring. Indifferent lettuce, tasteless dressings, chunks of vegetables. Oh, and do not forget the anemic, out-of-season tomatoes.

This is why, unless I’m at one of my favorite restaurants — for example, Tender Greens in Pasadena or Culver City — I tend to confine my salad cravings to my home. I can indulge in fresh avocado, crisp-tender blanched veggies, salty salami, freshly made dressings.

Of course, salads are more than lettuce. I turn my Roasted Sweet Potatoes into a great salad featuring a mustardy vinaigrette. I love creative potato salads. Since I’ve never been a huge mayo person, I gravitate toward vinaigrette dressings with my potatoes. Lentil salads. Broccoli salads. Fruit salads — good fruit salads, not the indifferent couple of chunks of melon and pineapple that so many restaurants serve.

Side salads, salads as meals. Salads. Three guesses what I’m craving as I write this?

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