St. John's Lenten Salad
It’s so named because it appears at a some light parish dinners during “Wednesdays in Lent.” On the five Lenten Wednesdays in Lent at 6:30 PM we enjoy a supper together of soup, bread and salad. At 7:30 PM we do Stations of the Cross and Benediction.
This salad serves about 40. You’ll need something like a punch bowl to hold it. Preparation should take only about an hour.
Cherry tomatoes: Package 3/4 - 1 pound.
Small black olives: Can.
Small green olives: Jar.
Green onions: Package of 10-20.
Celery: Whole pack.
Green lettuce: Head, your choice.
Iceberg lettuce: Head
See! Everything is pre-measured.
Substitute as you like.
If you wish, you may add a shredded cheese of your choice, but serve it on the side unless you’re sure that there’s no one who might be eating is allergic to “dairy.”
Wash everything, your hands first. Wear rubber gloves if you have them.
Use a serrated blade large knife for easy cutting.
Cherry tomatoes, black olives and green olives: Bisect them. Orient them to cut two or more at a time if you can. Put each group into a separate bowl.
Green onions: Sort and trim. For speed, hold them as a bunch to cut them at the same time. First cut off the fuzzy bottoms and discard them. Then keep cutting along the stalks making 1/16 to 1/8 inch cuts starting from the white continuing into the green until you feel the stalks have become to flimsy to be useful. Your call. Put the onions into a bowl.
Celery: Cut off the bottom and top so that only useful celery remains. Separate the stalks, then trim/discard any unwanted parts. Longitudinally cut the stalks to be more slender. (A single cut is usually enough.) Reassemble the celery into a bunch and then cut all the celery as a bunch into 1/16 to 1/8 inch lengths while holding it together for as long as you can. (This is speedy to do.) Put the celery into a bowl.
Green lettuce: Extract the leaves, wash them and pull them apart into fork manageable sizes. Drain on paper towel.
Iceberg lettuce: (Iceberg is mainly water, but it serves to give the salad a pleasant texture and, yes, moisture.) Wash it. Attack it. Tear it apart into fork handling sized pieces.
Throw the iceberg into the large bowl. Add the green lettuce. Then toss.
Add celery: Toss lightly.
Add onions: Toss lightly.
Add all the olives: Toss lightly.
Add the tomatoes: Toss lightly. It will “look right” very soon.
Note: You need not attempt to toss everything for equal distribution all the way to the bottom. People will do that for you as they serve themselves. It just happens.
Cover the bowl with film and refrigerate before serving.