When I was a little girl, my mother would make a Seven Layer Salad for special family dinners. This salad is different from others in that it is best served in a clear glass bowl instead of the traditional wooden salad bowl – part of the appeal of this recipe is how pretty it looks when you can see all seven layers at once.
This seven layer salad recipe makes a good brunch dish with a couple of substitutions; instead of frozen peas use small frozen broccoli florets, and instead of (or in addition to) the green pepper, use 3/4 cup of chopped ham with the chopped green onions and black olives.
Mexican Seven Layer Salad
If you are looking for a Mexican Seven Layer Salad simply use 1/2 can of black beans (drained and rinsed) instead of the eggs, corn instead of the peas, 1 cup of crumbled tortilla chips instead of the bacon, and 1 tsp dried chili powder instead of the dill. A Christmas Seven Layer Salad is easily created by using 1/2 green pepper and 1/2 a red pepper (instead of one whole green pepper). This make ahead layer salad tastes best when it is made the day before serving, and refrigerated for at least 24 hours.
There are many, many versions of layered salads, but this is a good starter recipe and the light yogurt salad dressing is easily adaptable to whatever vegetables, beans or other proteins you add. As you can see, it is easy to start mix and matching various ingredients to make your own version of this layer salad; with a little practice you will soon have your very own family favorite!
1/2 small head of iceberg lettuce
1/2 small head of romaine lettuce
6 hard-boiled eggs, sliced
350 gram (12 ounce) bag of small frozen peas
1 green pepper, diced
7 green onions or 10 chives, chopped
1/2 cup sliced black olives
13 slices crisp fried bacon, crumbled
1/2 cup low-fat mayonnaise
1/2 cup non fat yogurt
1 cup low-fat sour cream
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp dill OR 1 tbsp fresh cilantro
1 tbsp granulated sugar
1 1/2 cup low-fat shredded Cheddar cheese
8 grape tomatoes, halved
Wash and dry lettuce leaves. Chop into small pieces, and layer in the bottom of a large glass or crystal serving bowl OR a 9 x 13 glass Pyrex lasagna dish. Layer sliced hard-boiled eggs over the lettuce, then the peas over the eggs. Combine the chopped green pepper, onions and black olives in a small bowl, then spoon carefully over the layer of peas. Use 9 of your 13 pieces of bacon to make the next layer. Use a small bowl to combine the mayonnaise, yogurt, sour cream, pepper, dill and sugar. Mix well. Carefully spread over the salad and make sure you completely cover the salad. Combine remaining bacon with shredded Cheddar cheese and sprinkle over the mayonnaise layer. Cover with Saran wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours. Just prior to serving, garnish with grape tomatoes. This recipe makes 10 servings.