Salad is best consumed for lunch. Make sure you heap your plate high with lightly dressed if dressed at all (trust me, you get used to this so quickly) spinach or arugula or romaine. Add as many fruits and veggies as you want. Hell, you can even top it with a scoop of macaroni and cheese if you want, now that you have the important leafy base, the one that's going to fill you up without putting you to sleep afterward. Lay off the cheese, nuts, and croutons, please. Toppings are clever little things that fool you into thinking you're being calorie-frugal when really you may as well eat a snickers bar if you're going to pelt your salad with goat cheese, pine nuts, and sesame sticks. At least macaroni and cheese doesn't pretend to be lowfat. Finally, make sure you add some lean protein. Otherwise you're going to starve.
Salad does not belong at a dinner party. I say this, having made dozens of salads for dozens of dinner parties. They're pretty, they add color, and they're a light vegetarian accompaniment to heavier dishes. But now it occurs to me that while I love a salad for lunch, I never, ever enjoy eating salad for dinner. When I eat a salad for dinner, I am going through the motions, putting forkfuls in my mouth without any real enjoyment. So from now on, I am not going to subject my dinner guests to salad. Instead I'm going to get right to the point with the stuff people actually want to eat. No one will have to clear the obligatory salad plate before getting to the hot stuff, ever again, not while I'm in charge.
And below, a salad which does little to illustrate my point. I've actually made it several times before and it's one of my favorites. Mine doesn't look like that though. Hmm. Anyway, here's the recipe.