Fresh greens with tomato and onion salad

If throwing out perfectly delicious leftover green salad were a crime, I’d be serving a life sentence.

 

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It kills me to do it, but until fairly recently, I had no idea there was a second life for a leftover green salad, dressed or not. Once tossed, passed and partially consumed, that’s it, right? Wrong.

Salad dressing

Mix the leftover salad in a blender with olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper, and some garlic or herb seasonings and you have dressing for your next salad. I have done this several times now and the results are quite amazing. You have to try it. Just make sure you have your seasonings handy.


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Make soup

Turn that leftover green salad into hot vegetable soup: Process the leftover salad in a blender or food processor with 1/2 cup chicken or vegetable stock. Pour into a saucepan, stir in another 1/2 cup stock or the amount needed to create a nice consistency. Heat thoroughly and season with salt and pepper as needed. Serve garnished with sour cream and a sprinkling of chopped fresh herbs like basil, chives or parsley.

Gazpacho salsa

Blend it with V8 Juice to create a thick gazpacho (a cold Spanish/Portuguese tomato-based raw vegetable soup). Add a little hot sauce, and serve with chips for an appetizer. Extend it even further with the addition of red pepper and cucumber. Seriously tasty, however, it will vary depending on the contents of the leftover salad you start with.


MORE: 16 Surprising Reasons to Stop Throwing Out Pickle Juice


Add to soup

Ina Garten, the popular TV cook, blends leftover green salad all together and adds it to her hot soups. The greens and vinegar add great flavor. Make sure you adjust the seasonings. And a dash of cream to finish can’t hurt, either!


MORE: Got 20 Minutes? Make Soup!


Sauté

If your leftover salad began with raw greens and you tossed it with oil and vinegar, you still have a great option for how to repurpose that salad the next day. Flash-fry them those greens in a pan on the stovetop. The oil base is all ready to go.  Sauté until just until the greens collapse a bit and whatever else was in the salad is heated through, and you’re good to go.

Or toss the sauteed vegetables with rice to create a beautiful side dish. You may want to adjust the seasonings, and even add a bit of lemon juice to brighten the flavors.

 


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