When looking for a good lettuce based salad to serve at our Century Appreciation Party, I immediately thought of the Marshall Salad recipe that was given to me by my sister-in-law, Sally. When you have the basics down, you can do some switching up to suit your tastes, or your crowd.
The dressing for the salad needs to be refrigerated for 3 hours, so a little planning ahead would be good. To make things easier for serving at our party, we skipped making the dressing, and had bottled dressings available.
The full written recipe will appear after the photos.
The very first step, especially if you are making this in the summer, is to prepare an iced coffee (or your favorite cold beverage). I would save the intoxicating forms for later…you’ll be operating with sharp knives.
Next, you will need to make your salad dressing. Remember, it needs to chill for three hours (it can be left in the fridge overnight and be just as good).
Does anyone else have issues with the markings washing off of your Pyrex glass measuring cups? That’s one reason why I like to measure liquid ingredients larger than 1/4 cup on a scale.
After you have measured out and poured the oil and lemon juice into the blender, crush the cloves of garlic. If you don’t have a “bash and chop” style utensil, use a broad knife such as the chef knife shown here.
Place the knife flat onto the garlic clove, and strike the knife with the heel of your hand. It is super important to keep your fingers out of the way. We don’t want any emergency room visits while we are making supper!
After you have smashed the garlic, it becomes super easy to peel. Give it a rough chop, and add it to the blender.
Add the salt, and pepper…
Then blend. The liquid will turn white pretty quickly as the oil and lemon juice emulsify, just make sure you blend long enough to chop the garlic into itty bitty pieces.
Pour the dressing into a glass jar, and cover. If you have a small Mason jar with a lid handy, use that.
While the dressing is chilling, slice your bacon slices. If your knives are not sharp, a kitchen shears works really well for cutting bacon.
Fry the bacon until it is a golden brown.
Then drain the bacon on paper towels and let cool. I scoop the bacon out of the pan with a slotted spoon, and put it in a cereal bowl that has been lined with paper toweling. That way, I can throw some plastic wrap over the top, and put it in the fridge to cool while the dressing is chilling.
When I was about ready to assemble the rest of the salad, I took our Angus beef strip steaks (from our local Hy-Vee) out of the fridge and put them on a platter and lightly seasoned them with salt and pepper. We’re not huge pepper people, so I only seasoned one side with pepper. I set them aside until it was time to throw them on the grill.
Using a clean cutting board (it is important to use separate cutting boards when making meals with meat and produce to prevent cross contamination. The chances of getting sick are low, but we all must practice food safety!), I brought out my Romaine lettuce, cut off the ends and removed the outer leaves before cutting the lettuce into bite size pieces. I ended up using all three heads of lettuce that came in the pack so none would go to waste.
I use a lettuce knife which is supposed keep the lettuce from turning brown. I don’t know if it works, but I like this little plastic knife. After the lettuce was cut, I washed it, and spun it dry in my salad spinner. I also washed the grape tomatoes and gave them a spin. If your grape tomatoes are approaching cherry tomato size, slice them in half after washing.
Then, it was time to put the steaks on the grill.
While the steaks were cooking, I assembled the salad in my fancy Dollar Tree bowl. On top of the lettuce I dumped the mozzarella cheese, shredded Parmesan cheese, grape tomatoes, and the cooled bacon.
I mixed the salad together with a pair of tongs before adding the dressing. Being the amateur food photographer that I am, I didn’t tidy up my work space before taking the next photo. But, really, who has time to be all tidy when you have steaks almost finished cooking, and your tummy is growling for this yummy salad?
After the dressing was added, I mixed the salad one more time with a large spoon. I don’t like soggy croutons, so we add ours at the table.
Finally, time to eat! The steaks were super tender, and didn’t need all kinds of treatment before grilling. The lightly seasoned meat paired very well with the salad.
A huge thanks goes out to my friend, Jenny Dewey, who helped guide my steak preparation.
3/4 c (6 ounces) salad oil
3 Tablespoons lemon juice
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1/4 teaspoon salt & pepper
Blend in blender. Store in refrigerator for 3 hours. Toss with salad just before serving.
2-3 heads romaine lettuce, torn up
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/3 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
2 cups halved cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes
7 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 cup croutons
Mix together just before serving. Store leftovers in refrigerator.