I'm the first one to admit it. When I see a salad recipe listed in a cook book, I cringe a little. I mean, salads seem like no-brainers. You plop some greens into a bowl. You add veggies, maybe a dressing or vinaigrette, maybe some fruit, and voila: a raw meal in bowl.
Except, most of us never think about what one might put in a salad. As a species, we do not stop to ponder, "what have I never tried diced on top of a pile of lettuce?" Or maybe we do, and my lettuce, tomato, with an option of cucumber is the rarity rather than the norm. But I doubt it.
That's why now, when I happen upon a new and interesting salad topping, I try not to think "why bother with a recipe? It's only a salad." So in honor of the summer heat and the need to reduce the output of more heat from the oven, I give you my salad dinner.
No pictures, unfortunately. It was shy.
Tonight, I ate dinner at a little coffee place frequented by Cleveland State students called Ah Roma. It's worth noting not only for its mean Japanese green tea, but for its insane vegetarian menu, especially given its coffeehouse nature. They have roasted red pepper hummus wraps. It's genius. But today, I did not get a wrap. Today, I counted on an old standby: the veggie salad, with a side of fat free ranch. Ah Roma doesn't play around. When it comes to vegetables, they bring it. I'm talking whole slices of cucumber, two large slices of tomato, a heaping mound of bean sprouts, an abundance of raw mushroom slices, and, of course, the lettuce (usually, there's red onion. I did not get the red onion.)
The first time I got this salad, it was my first semester at Cleveland State, and I was worried I would have to survive on veggie delite subway salads for the duration of the semester. Then, I got the Ah Roma salad, and I was stunned... yes, stunned... I mean, you can put bean sprouts on a salad... really? It's a salad worthy of a recipe. And with a slight heated tang in the ranch, it's a very worthy and palatable dinner, one I can come back to again and again. With a side of tea.