Global Veg » A Culinary Journal

Hold the lettuce please…

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A couple of years ago, we got into the habit of eating Sunday lunch at a nice salad place after my son’s weekly piano lesson. It was one of those places where they have a million fresh ingredients that you can customize into your own salad. They start with lettuce and then add whatever you want.

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The restaurant got to know us pretty well for two reasons:

  1. There are not that many little kids out there so excited to eat salad.
  2. My son would be the only one there whose instructions were- “I would like to order a salad but hold the lettuce please.” (He’s referring to the standard iceberg lettuce.)

I have to agree with him though. While iceberg lettuce does add some nice crispness to a salad, its nutritional value (and taste) is pretty much non-existent. There are a lot of other greens that are tasty and a have a lot of vitamins- arugula, baby spinach, chard, frisée and radicchio are great. Romaine lettuce is also better than iceberg lettuce in the nutritional area.

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If removing lettuce is still not enticing enough for your kids to have a salad, it’s time to take a different approach. How about serving it in an edible bowl– made of crispy, melted parmesan?

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Trust me, you’ll get their attention.

Little edible cups of parmesan cheese, filled with a simple salad—and remember mixed greens are fine…but hold the iceberg lettuce!

Parmesan Cheese Cups

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Put about 2 tablespoons  of cheese on a lined cookie sheet for each parmesan cup you want to make. Leave a few inches between the cheese batches as they will spread when the melt.

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Bake for about 8-10 minutes.

Remove from oven and fit onto the back of a small cup or bowl and let set until you get the shape you want. You can even set them in muffin/cupcake pans.

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Salad

Wash some mixed greens (~3 ounces), cut to desired size (if you like).

Cut a handful of cherry tomatoes in half and a small cucumber into semicircles.

Julienne a small carrot.

Add all to mixed greens, along with a handful green olives.

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Add 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar. Salt and pepper to taste.

Mix well.

Assembly

Put the parmesan cups in individual plates/bowls.

Add some salad to each cup.

Serve!

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