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Jan 19, 2011 12:14 PM

Looking for salad advice... Alternatives to Caesar

We're really tired of Caesar salad! I'm looking for another salad suggestion/idea (anything but Caesar!!) that would go well with lasagna. It's a meat lasagna made with sausage and ground beef.

In an attempt to get ideas from colleagues and friends, I'm getting conflicting advice. Some people are saying that a lasagna needs a substantial salad like Caesar or Greek, while others are saying it's better to go with a light salad.

Your thoughts?

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  1. salads are vehicles for eating oil in a pleasant manner. let that be your guide as to what "substantial" is.

    1. My mother-in-law always makes with her macaroni meals the simplest salad of crisp lettuce (iceberg), cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, sometimes chickpeas, sometimes radishes, dressed with olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt, pepper, oregano. I know, sounds like something you'd get in a diner, but I always look forward to it. I rarely use iceberg in my salads, so somehow it's refreshing. And she chills it in the refrigerator, then dresses it ever so lightly right before serving. Nothing special, but it's refreshing when having a "red sauce" meal. I wouldn't go with anything heavy.

      1. I think a baby spinach salad with warm bacon dressing would go well with the lasagna.

        1 Reply
        1. re: mucho gordo

          I agree with the lighter salad approach: my BIL was born in Italy and whenever he made lasagna, his salad looked like this: baby romaine lettuce leaves(the inner core of the head of romaine), tossed well ( maybe 1/2 hour) before serving in a half/half mixture of freshly squeezed lemon juice and EVOO.

          He really tossed them, actually 'bruising' them so they were quite 'wilty' before the meal. He then served them right after the lasagna, tossed again before serving with a little salt and a shaving of fresh parmesan.

          We thought this was an individual family technique until we were in Puglia (Umbria) in Italy in an extemely sophisticated and pricey ristorante. Same salad, same exact technique, different lettuce: they used butter lettuce.

          In NA we really prize the non-abusing of lettuce leaves, but this battering definitely did something positive that turned the simplicity of ingredients into something quite elevated.

        2. Agree with other CH's., light on the add in; big on the greens. A lemony-oil dressing...about the only add in I usually make is pitted black olives.

          1. My first thought was a crispy romaine with red wine vinegar, olive oil, salt and refreshing with a heavy baked cheesy dish.