before college, i used to eat a lot of salad at home. as in, every night. but somehow i slipped out of that pattern this year, and i realized it's because i would buy lettuce from the market and make "salads" with just that. just-lettuce salads are really, really boring.
anyway, this week i got back into the habit of making salads with actual things in them. they were made a thousand times better simply by purchasing a couple more items at the market, and it didn't taste like i was just eating leaves anymore.
currently in my salad rotation: tomatoes, mushrooms, cheese (usually have those); candied walnuts, dried cranberries, pear slices (the few extra purchases)
and voilà, a more colorful and way more delicious salad. the best part about them is you can mix and match almost anything into them.
by the way, here is my mother's candied walnut recipe which, i dare say it, is the best candied walnut recipe ever and makes any salad great (but i might be biased). mine took only 15 minutes to be done; watch them carefully so they don't burn.
Phoebe's glazed walnuts
3 cups walnuts
3 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
Fresh ground pepper, ground red pepper (optional)
2 tbsp canola oil
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Soak the walnuts in boiling water for 5 min. Drain in colander and pat dry. In mixing bowl, combine walnuts, sugar, salt, peppers (if you want them spiced; you can also add cinnamon, nutmeg or other spices), and oil. Mix until thoroughly coated. Put on parchment paper or silpat (otherwise it really gets stuck) on baking sheet, spreading out to one layer. Put in oven for 20-25 min, turning every five min until golden brown. Let cool completely before placing in jar.