Simple Salad

It was late summer in northern Wisconsin and the farmers market was loaded with lovely green peppers, cucumbers and tomatoes.  They would be a wonderful addition to a green salad, I thought, so I bought two of each and stopped to pick up the lettuce at the local supermarket.   Alas, there was no lettuce to be had, but there were some beautiful red onions.  Simple salad was born.


1 green pepper
1 red onion
1 cucumber
1 medium or 2 smaller tomatoes
1/2 cup pitted ripe olives
Ranch dressing
2 or three T Parmesan cheese.
Salt and pepper to taste


Wash the vegetables thoroughly. Remove the top, seeds and membranes from the pepper. Cut the top and root off the onion and remove the outer skin. Peel the cucumber and cut the stem off the tomato. Chop the pepper and onion into pieces about 3/4 inch on each side. Cut the cucumber into quarters and remove seeds if you wish. Chop the quarters into pieces about 3/4 inch long. Do the same with the tomato. Slice the olives.

Toss the vegetables with enough ranch dressing to coat them lightly. Add the grated Parmesan cheese with about 1/4 teaspoon salt and some freshly ground black pepper. Mix well and adjust the seasoning,, adding a little more dressing or cheese if necessary.

Not only is this a really simple salad, but you can make it ahead of time and even enjoy it the next day as a tasty leftover. If you use medium-sized vegetables, the recipe will serve six generously.

Dorothy’s Cottage Cheese Salad

We were first served this salad in Richmond, Virginia by Dorothy McLeod, the mother of my best friend when I was a student at the University of Virginia.  Alan calls it mock potato salad, but Jerri and I always refer to it as Dorothy’s cottage cheese salad.

Very active in her church, Dorothy told me that this salad was a popular item on the potluck table.  Jerri asked for the recipe and has been making it for nearly as long as we have been married.  And yes, I make it too.

If you like cottage cheese and don’t like complicated recipes, you really should give this a try.  For the best flavor, make this salad at least a couple of hours before serving.


1 carton (24 ounce) small curd creamed cottage cheese
1/4 cup or more to taste mayonnaise or salad dressing
4 hard boiled eggs, peeled and chopped medium
1/4 to 1/2 cup candied dill strips, chopped rather fine


Mix everything in a bowl.  Taste and add more salad dressing if needed.  Garnish with a couple of shakes of paprika.

NOTE:  If you don’t have any candied dill strips, use sweet pickled gherkins and add a pinch of cinnamon and 1/8 tsp. dill weed.