Find: Family Salad at Super Target

Does anyone else out there wonder why a home made salad never tastes quite as good as one at a restaurant? It’s not like there’s a secret, since every ingredient is in plain sight. Is the difference in the dressing? the croutons? a chilled plate for serving?

I can give up trying now that Super Target has the Family Salad for $6.99. These jumbo salads pass for good-as-a-restaurant versions but at a great savings in time and money. They aren’t salad kits in bags but rather completely assembled and ready to pop onto a serving plate. They make for a hearty first course for the family or at least two generous entree salads for mom, either for an easy lunch at home or to take to work. Target typically offers three varieties:

* Tossed garden – all the usual ingredients including iceberg, cucumbers, tomatoes, carrots, along with ranch dressing and croutons

* Chicken Ceasar – Romaine, fresh parmesan, grilled chicken along with Ceasar dressing and croutons

* Italian – Young greens, goat cheese rounds, craisins, walnuts, viniagrette and croutons

Consider having to purchase the ingredients separately and watch the leftover craisins/walnuts/goat cheese languish away (=guilt, waste) or searching for recipes in which to use the ingredients (=more work). When you buy the family size salad it all works out even, a minor feat as satisfying as the perfect pump of gasoline that ends on an even dollar amount.

Look at how the salad “fluffs” up when it is emptied into a serving bowl. A couple of these and you have your dish for teacher appreciation day, potluck, tailgate.

You won’t find these salads among the lettuce/salad kits. Look for them instead in the cooler at the entrance to the grocery section next to ready-to-heat pizzas, wings and sandwiches.