We’re nearing the 4th of July weekend. I always think of John Adam’s proposition that it should be celebrated “with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sport, bells, bonfires, and illuminations from one end of the continent to the other.”
Though he alludes to fireworks, he neglected to include summer salads in the celebration. So I picked out a few I’m looking forward to enjoying. 🙂
The Original La Scala Chopped Salad
Blog Readers’ Favorite:
After nearly 10 years of food blogging, you might be interested in knowing what the top two recipes are for readers of GoodFoodSTL. The one for Bourbon Balls soars during the Christmas season. But the year-round favorite is La Scala’s Chopped Salad. So I’m posting it again along with the history of the salad.
The Celebrity Salad:
The culinary masterpiece was introduced in the 50s by Chef Jean Leon at La Scala Boutique in Beverly Hills. The tasty dish combined two kinds of lettuce, salami, chickpeas, and cheese.
Over the years, the salad has been nibbled on by celebs such as Elizabeth Taylor, Julia Roberts, and Leonardo DiCaprio, as well as JFK. La Scala still features the original version.
The recipe below is the one published in the LA Times many years ago. The secret ingredient in the vinaigrette dressing was purported to be the dry mustard. According to Chef Leon’s daughter, the original was hard to eat so the salad was chopped into small bite-size pieces. Pull out your mezzaluna and get to rockin’. This one’s a keeper.
Tuna Noodle Salad
Years ago my friend, Ethel, and I attended a wedding reception, where this Tuna Noodle Salad was served. We loved the hearty mixture of noodles, veggies, tuna, and cheese and asked for the recipe. After that, we made it many times, always referring to the dish as John’s Wedding Salad.
The marriage didn’t last, but the salad has been a keeper. It’s a flexible salad, that you can add more, or less, of the ingredients as you prefer. Beware: This is a dish that you’ll dip into every time you open the refrigerator door.
Basil Vinaigrette has been my very-most-favorite dressing for years. I plant basil in my rock garden every year just to have this treat for my salads. I included it in my cookbook Christmas at the Mansion.
Happy Fourth of July! Enjoy your salads.