Peasant food: Big, manly salads that kick butt and take names

Did I get your attention?

Okay, let's get one thing straight: although most of the salads that you've eaten were probably somewhat miserable, you should know that salads are not, by definition, lame. They don't have to be flavorless, watery agglomerations of wilted lettuce, dry carrot slices, and slimy cucumbers floating in a pool of fatty dressing. There is no reason that they have to be basic fodder that you use to fill yourself during a hastily-grabbed lunch. In fact, there really are no rules governing the creation of salads or the flavors that they must contain.

One major misconception is that salads must be composed of at least 70% iceberg lettuce. Let's get something straight right now: iceberg lettuce is the Astroturf of greens. It has little or no nutritional value, no flavor, and is almost entirely water. I do not now, nor have I ever, advocated the use of iceberg lettuce; in fact, I consider it fit food for rabbits and Calista Flockhart, but utterly unsuitable for real, healthy humans.