Jul 01

What Makes a Good Summer Salad, A Male Perspective

If you are like me you hate to go out to eat and get served a crappy salad.  You know the type I’m referring to.  It’s the bowl of Iceberg lettuce, a few pieces of grated carrot, one slice of cucumber and maybe two cherry tomatoes if the preparer was feeling spunky.  Nothing is more disappointing than getting a bowl of prepared Iceberg lettuce.

According to Wikipedia:

The word “salad” comes from the French salade of the same meaning, from the Latin salata (salty), from sal (salt). In English, the word first appears as “salad” or “sallet” in the 14th century…Salt is associated with salad because vegetables were seasoned with brine or salty oil-and-vinegar dressings during Roman times…The terminology “salad days“, meaning a “time of youthful inexperience” (on notion of “green”), is first recorded by Shakespeare in 1606, while the use of salad bar first appeared in American English in 1976.

All of which is makes for great trivia; but I must agree with Shakespeare (and those of you that know me, know that I am not a Shakespearean kind of guy), good fresh green salads make me feel better.  They make me feel healthy.  They make me feel alive.  I suppose it has to do with all of the fiber, vitamins and minerals that a good summer salad can contain.

Components of a Summer Salad

Ingredients of a Summer Salad

Another really neat thing about green summer salads is that, as pictured above, they go great with steak.  Hit the Bonus alarm, salad another reason to grill, but I digress.  Either as a side item to a steak meal or a green salad with steak added for a mixed delight of meat and plant.  I cannot think of a more natural meal with remnants of our caveman ancestry.

So what makes a great greet summer salad you ask?  Well I guess the answer to that question is whatever you really like to eat.  The prepared Iceberg salad disappoints because it doesn’t give you the variety of vegetables that you really like.  I would recommend that you allow the green portion of your salad to occupy no more than 1/3 of the total salad by volume, thereby allowing for plenty room for the fruits, vegetables and nuts that you love.  Foods like:



Sweet Bell Peppers



Raw Broccoli


Dried Cranberries


Hot Peppers



Raw Cauliflower

Green Onion









So next time you are in the mood for a salad, skip the crappy bowl of soulless Iceberg lettuce and create a salad with your favorite dressing your inner caveman would be happy to draw about on his dining room wall.

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  1. Bill

    What dressing do you prefer to add to your man salad?

    1. Eric Oliphant

      Great question Bill. I have found that my preference typically comes in in spurts of duration from a few weeks to months at a time. I am fond of red dressings I don’t know why. These could be a Balsamic Vinaigrette, Catalina or just old fashioned French. Of course a man salad stable would have to be Ranch as it can multi task and assist with a serving of Buffalo style hot wings.

  2. Marlene Bertrand

    I know what you mean by “crappy” salad. And, it’s interesting, I go through phases with regard to salad dressings. Right now I’m going through an oil and vinegar phase. And, please put a sliced boiled egg on top. I like that a lot these days.

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