This is a simple and beautiful salad, and a staple at potlucks and luncheons in my area of the country. You can vary the ingredients according to your taste and what you have in your fridge, and you can dress it up a bit with fresh herbs, Gorgonzola cheese—whatever makes your skirt fly up! The standard ingredients in most layered salads are lettuce or spinach (or both!) hard boiled eggs, crumbled bacon, grated cheese, green onions, and green peas, which are layered in a pretty glass bowl so the layers can be seen in all their colorful beauty.
But the true sign of a layered salad is what goes on top: an incredibly simple dressing, which is spread evenly over the top so as to “seal in” the ingredients below. After that, it’s refrigerated, then tossed on site just before serving.
This is perfect for a Labor Day picnic! The perfect cool, crisp complement to all the grilled meats.
And it’s purty.
Here’s what you need. You can switch up the ingredients, add in things that excite you, change the variety of cheese—the world is your oyster!
If you have a clear glass bowl, grab it. If not, any ol’ bowl will do. Start with a layer of chopped iceberg.
Sprinkle on some kosher salt and plenty of freshly ground black pepper.
Next comes a layer of baby spinach.
And another sprinkling of salt and pepper. This seasoning is important; it’ll give the salad more flavor once it’s all tossed together.
After that, crack open some hard boiled eggs. I just tap-tap-tap the middle with a sharp knife…
Then slide the shell right off.
Then I just give it a rough chop. You can neatly slice the eggs if you’re into that kind of thing, or you can dice them finely. But I’m sort of a rough chop kind of girl.
While you’ve got the knife in your hand, go ahead and chop up the bacon, too.
Make a nice layer of eggs, then a layer of bacon.
Hard boiled eggs + Bacon = TruLuv4Evr.
Here’s a little trick I do: since I want the ingredients to really show on the outside of the bowl, I concentrate them around the perimeter, then fill in the center with more lettuce or spinach.
It’s all a sham!
A delicious, colorful sham.
Next, slice up a bunch of green onions…
And sprinkle those over the tomatoes. Color is bursting from the bowl!
Next comes a layer of grated cheese; I used sharp cheddar, but you can use Swiss, mozzarella, colby-jack…whatever you’d like! Just please grate your own. Please? Please please please please please?
And next, one of the definite signs of a true Layered Salad: a generous layer of frozen (and partially thawed) green peas.
And now for the weirdness. Combine sour cream and mayonnaise in a bowl.
Add a tablespoon or two of sugar. This is totally optional, and can be left out. But I really like what the sugar does to the dressing—doesn’t make it overly sweet, just gives it a little dimension.
Note: this is going to wind up being the dressing for the salad, so you can dress it up however you’d like. Fresh herbs would be nice, or just a little garlic.
I’m a purist, though. For this salad, I like things plan. Let the salad ingredients—not the dressing—take center stage!
Mix it together till smooth, then pour it over the top of the salad.
And bring the spoon out to the edges to seal in the ingredients below.
And that is IT, my dears. Now cover it with plastic wrap and store it in the fridge for a few hours. That’s one of the beauties of this salad: make it beforehand and you’ll have plenty of time to paint your nails, do your hair, apply a rejuvenating mask, wax, self-tan, and try on eight different outfits before the picnic.
When it’s party time, garnish the top with a little of whatever leftover ingredients you might have: a little egg, a little bacon, a sprinkling of peas. Then just toss it at the party and add a little color to everyone’s plate.
Everyone’ll love it!
Here’s the printable:
- Prep Time:
- 30 Minutes
- Cook Time:
- 2 heads Iceberg Lettuce, Chopped
- 8 ounces, fluid Baby Spinach, Washed And Dried
- Salt And Pepper, to taste
- 8 whole Hard Boiled Eggs, Chopped
- 16 ounces, weight Bacon, Cooked And Chopped
- 4 whole Tomatoes, Chopped
- 1 bunch Green Onions, Thinly Sliced
- 8 ounces, weight Cheddar Cheese, Grated
- 1 bag (10 Ounce) Frozen Peas, Partially Thawed
- FOR THE DRESSING:
- 1/2 cup (Real) Mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup Sour Cream
- 1 Tablespoon Sugar (more To Taste)
- Fresh Dill, Chopped
In a clear glass bowl, layer salad ingredients in the order they appear above, concentrating ingredients around the perimeter of the bowl and filling in the center with lettuce, if needed. End with the layer of peas.
Combine dressing ingredients in a separate bowl and mix well. Pour over the top of the peas and spread to cover, bringing dressing all the way out to the edges of the bowl. Sprinkle with fresh dill.
Cover and refrigerate for up to 8 hours. Toss just before serving.
Do you have any Thanksgiving traditions? Not too late to begin this year!
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Thanks Elaine. You have no competition from me on the recipe blogs! LOL. . . .
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Ha ha 🙂
I used to make something very similar, but I’m going to switch to yours – scallions instead of onion/ spinach instead of celery and water chestnuts. Great salad for those of us that have had it with cooking!
LOL. . . . so glad. Let me know how you like it! There are lots of variations on a theme. . . Happy Thanksgiving, my friend!