Splendid Layers Salad

A layered, rather thick salad that is good served as a light meal in summer. The tastes are sweet, bitter, astringent, and slightly salty. It has oily, cold, and heavy qualities. This combination is good for Pitta types since the heavier vegetables provide enough substance for Pitta’s healthy appetite. When eaten in small amounts, this salad is all right for Vata, but the cold and heavy qualities aggravate Kapha. When preparing, be sure to cut everything into bite-size pieces. Each vegetable can be cut in a different shape to add visual interest.

Serves 6 to 8

2 heads Bibb lettuce 1/2 head red cabbage, shredded 6 large artichoke hearts, steamed and quartered, or use prepared artichokes: 114-ounce can, drained and quartered, or 10 ounces frozen, defrosted, and quartered 1 pound asparagus, cut in i-inch pieces and steamed 1 cucumber, washed, scored with the tines of a fork, and sliced very thin 1 medium jicama or 3 sunchokes, cut in triangular shapes and sliced 4 tablespoons Pitta Churna Salad Dressing (page 129) 4 large leaves romaine lettuce, deribbed, cut in i-inch squares 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint, dill, and/or fennel 1/4 cup small seedless grapes, currants, or raisins 1 cup mixed salad greens, as available, such as arugula, beet leaves, hon tsai tai, chicory, and escarole, tom or chopped in small pieces 1 red apple, cored and diced 1/2 cup curly parsley leaves, broken in clusters 1/4 cup toasted croutons 1. Line the bottom and sides of a deep, straight-sided glass bowl or other salad bowl with Bibb lettuce leaves. Sprinkle with enough red cabbage to cover the bottom. Layer with about one-third of the thick ingredients: the artichoke hearts, the asparagus, the cucumber, and the jicama. Pour 1 tablespoon Pitta Churna Salad Dressing over this layer. 2. Begin the next layer with a sprinkling of red cabbage and romaine pieces, making the layer about an inch thick. Spread on half of the chopped fresh herbs. Arrange another third of the thick ingredients and add the grapes, currants, or raisins. Then sprinkle with a little red cabbage and pour on 1 tablespoon of dressing to end this layer. 3. Cover the surface with mixed chopped greens. Sprinkle with the remaining cabbage, the herbs, the last third of the vegetables, the diced apple, and the remaining salad dressing in that order. Ring the outside with the parsley clusters and sprinkle the croutons in the center. Be sure the Bibb lettuce lines the edges of the bowl attractively. Add more leaves, if necessary, to fill in the empty spaces. 4. Cover and refrigerate for 1 or 2 hours before serving.

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