Here the deal: If I make an obvious big green salad with all the other food at dinner and try to hard to have them eat it, there will be too much leftover which must be tossed. But, if I come home to a male-cooked stewy/porky/fatty dinner craving salad for myself and make a single portion, they all want it and fight over it and act like I should have known.
This much I’ve learned–for a guy to eat a green salad it must involve cold, crisp lettuce–Romaine works best most often. I buy a lot, soak it clean in cold water, lay out on a large towel, roll it and have it at the ready which means when the fickle salad boys want my salad–I can easily make more. And if they’re mad hungry and would eat stones, i give them a quick salad before anything else only IF the clean crispy greens are at the ready.
Otherwise I offer every other form of what can be loosely called a salad which they now like, crave and actually ask for unbidden. Here’s a few ideas
1. Tomatoes, cucumbers, crumbled Queso fresca, Cilantro etc. Duh–switch out herb, cheese and other green veg but keep the vibe cohesive i.e mozz with basil not tarragon.
2. Shredded Kale w/Peanut Dressing. Yes, they will eat this if its cozying up to a pork product.
3. Shredded Green Beans and Snow Peas. Saute red onions in EVOO and deglaze with red wine vinegar. This inspired from Cesare Casella of salumeria Rossi in NYC who made a version of this at his former haunt Marema. Cook sliced pancetta with the onions even better.
4. Grilled Caesar. Grill Romaine halves and add croutons, Parm, EVOO and lemon juice and for the nonwimps, anchovies, natch. Bad photo of mine where I originally saw this a couple of years ago at Pigeon Restaurant in Portland, Oregon.
Bottom line: look everywhere around you for clever salad ideas and make you own version at home. If they “hate” salad, make it your mission to find just one they’ll eat!