Can you make friends with salad?

Homer Simpson’s words of wisdom have stuck with me for a long time, ‘You don’t make friends with salad.’

I’ve always looked at salad as filler. It’s just there to distract everyone else while I chow down on the main course. The only salad I ever warmed up to was the standard Caesar. Crisp Romaine Lettuce, a sharp sauce and fresh Parmesan Cheese is a great combination.

Aside from that, most salads don’t appeal to me. For one, most salads are in serving bowls and the bottom half just gets soggy, even with a Caesar if it sits too long.

Enter the Composed Salad.

Your Ingredients
Notice a theme? Another simple combination for maximum taste results.

What you’ll need:

1 bunch of Baby Arugula (a good handful per person is what I did)
1 Roma Tomato per person1/2  Avocado per person
White Vinegar
Salt & Pepper

Wash the arugula and tomatoes. Dry the arugula and place it in a bowl.

Thick Slices
Roma Tomatoes have a much different inner composition. They’re much easier to handle.

Cut the tomatoes in 1/2″ thick slices laditudinally and leave them on the cutting board.

Drizzle that Sauce
Drizzle the EVOO and vinegar around the edges of the bowl and then toss by hand.

Take the white vinegar and EVOO and drizzle them around the edge of the bowl. Add the salt & pepper and mix by hand. Once it’s evenly covered move the arugula to the serving plates.

Put your tomato slices in the bowl, mix them around in the excess EVOO/vinegar mixture and plate them.

Chop and Scoop
To remove the pit, chop in and scoop the blade to loosen and it should pop out.

Cut the avocado in half and pop one half off with your knife. Then take your knife and chop it into the pit and make a scooping motion to remove it.

Grid and Scoop
With the pit gone, grid both sides of the avocado up and they should scoop out with ease.

Grid both halves of the avocado and then scoop them out with a spoon into the bowl. Give them a quick mix, doing your best not to beat them up. I was happily surprised how easy it was to handle an avocado. I will definitely use them more often.

The Composed Salad
Compared to what I’m used to seeing offered for a salad, this is my preference.

Plate the avocado chunks on top of the arugula and tomato slices. Congratulations, you’ve just made your first composed salad. What’s so much better about this than the salad’s I’ve expressed my dislike for?

The ‘dressing’ is four ingredients compared to some complex poppy seed raspberry-infused vinaigrette. The simplicity works for me.

The vegetables contrast and complement each other and nothing is soggy. Next time I’ll cut the tomato slices in half just so they’re more bite-sized. But I do like how easy Roma Tomatoes are to handle prep-wise compared to a garden-variety tomato. Their size and composition greatly reduce the mess.

Overall I liked this salad and got compliments on it, so if I ever need to make a salad, I have one I can put together in ten minutes.


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