We were a family-dinner kind of family, with at least 3 courses in different colors, all of us sitting around the table, sometimes talkative, sometimes not.

Most of the things mom made were pretty good. She can cook, no question. Although, being of those times, things like Jello, Shake-n-Bake, and Pop-n-Fresh dough were common sights. But she always insisted on having a fresh dinner salad — usually iceberg lettuce and maybe some sliced tomato or shredded carrot portioned out into individual wooden salad bowls.

When I left home for college, I learned there was a lot more a salad could be. Since then, I’ve eaten and created a lot of different salads, and often it’s all I eat for dinner.

Now we love making big salads full of various vegetables, fruits, nuts, herbs, cheese…

A typical salad I make in Italy