Seven-Layer Salad

Seven-layer salad may be the perfect party food because it can be made a day in advance. The ingredient list is flexible for example you could add a layer of marinated artichoke hearts or tomato or shredded carrots or avocado or pickled beets or shredded meat, seafood, etc.  The basic ingredients are:

  • chopped lettuce
  • hard-boiled eggs (half-dozen)
  • thawed frozen peas (10 ounce bag)
  • shredded cheese
  • grated onions (red ones are nice)
  • mayonnaise (between 1-1/4 and 2 cups depends on the size of the top of the bowl)
  • crumbled bacon

Layer the lettuce on the bottom of a large glass bowl, a trifle dish is perfect because all the layers are visible. I was going to add a layer of avocado chunks which had been doused in lemon juice to preserve their color and freshness but every one of the dozen avocados I had were rotten.

Start with the lettuce, I used Romaine.

 Add hard-boiled egg slices around the inside for decoration and add the remaining chopped eggs.

Eggs on top of the lettuce.

 Add a layer of thawed frozen peas.

The peas make a beautiful layer.

Add a layer of grated cheese; I’m using a combination of Swiss and Gruyère.

This is very rich.

I spread a layer of very finely chopped (or grated) red onion. Half an onion was plenty since it seemed to be strong.

The onion layer.

Top it off with mayonnaise (to which 2 tablespoons of sugar have been added) to tightly seal the top of the bowl.  Make sure the mayonnaise is spread so no openings remain around the rim. I used about 1-1/2 cups for this bowl. This is the step which permits the salad to stay fresh overnight.

The mayonnaise seals the ingredients and keeps them fresh.

Crumble bacon over the whole thing. (That’s a pound of bacon, folks.)

Seven layer salad ready for the buffet.

At the party toss all the ingredients together.

What’s on your party menu? Do you experiment with ingredients or stay to the basic recipe?

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