One of our favorite childhood meals is the crunchy vegetable salad. I could eat it every day! We enjoyed that particular meal as much as any other. And even now, twenty-four years later, the memory of that first meal still brings a smile to my face.
Ingredients Of Crunchy Vegetable Salad
In the local Weis supermarket, there again was waiting patiently for a sliced up bright green turkey, when across the glass from me stood this exciting looking sandwich. The sign read, “Crunchy Vegetable Salad.” With ingredients such as carrots, cranberries, broccoli, raisins, and perhaps some sunflower seeds added, it looked like a delicious and colorful salad to be eaten. But it wasn’t just a salad. There was dressing on the side, too, but it wasn’t what you’d expect – it was ranch dressing, to be precise. And why do I love it?
It’s simple. It’s a crunchy vegetable salad with fresh broccoli florets, tossed with generous amounts of a delicious homemade ranch dressing. It makes me hungry! And since I needed something other than salad for that day, who cares – the health benefits were more than enough.
How Is The Ranch Dressing?
This crunchy vegetable salad didn’t have much going for it. The tomatoes were hardly fresh, the bread was dry and boring, and I found myself reaching for the croutons more often than not, even though I knew they weren’t real cheese. The biggest surprise of the day, though, was the ranch dressing. As a born pragmatist, I resisted the temptation to try it, thinking, “What the heck is that?” It turns out; it was a tried and true favorite of many southern cooks. A favorite that just about anyone can make, regardless of how much experience they’ve had with this kind of dressing.
How Should You Serve This Salad?
Slice the bell pepper and then use a diagonal slice to create two parallel slits in the middle of each piece. Spread a generous amount of ranch dressing on one half of each slice and then place them on top of the tomatoes. Top with another slice of bell pepper and then arrange the rest of the ingredients on top, just like that. Now you’ve got a crunchy salad that’s ready in less than twenty minutes.
For a change of pace, substitute the broccoli florets for some baby carrots. I like carrots more because they’re smaller and brighter than the red onions – and obviously, carrots are healthier. I also prefer using baby carrots because they’re easier to cut into nice, even chunks. No matter how you slice them, though, you’ll have to admit that the combination of bright colors and flavors goes with the “red onions” nicely.
Serve with a large bowl of tomato soup and serve yourself (if you want) or have a bowl of pasta along with some crackers. If you prefer pasta, your bread will come in handy to toast some of those pieces of bread crumbs! It might also be helpful to toast your crackers. Just mix the bread cubes with a little bit of olive oil and then place them onto a hot griddle to heat up a bit.
Make sure you put enough water in the large bowl so that the vegetables can slake a little bit. Slivering vegetables take the flavor of the salad to the next level. You should serve this salad with homemade ranch dip, homemade tortilla chips, or homemade baked tortilla chips. If you feel like eating something different, you can always substitute some of the items listed above for more traditional items. You can replace the broccoli florets with chopped ham or turkey bacon.