I realized today that 24-Hour Salad is to me what macaroni and cheese is to so many other people. Except that it contains eight varieties of vegetable. Yeah, that's right. You eat mac 'n' cheese; I eat veggies. Judge me now, why dontcha?
Anyway, yes. 24-Hour Salad. It's cool, creamy, crunchy, and full of fat. (Oh, did I forget to mention the full cup of mayonnaise, up there in that self-righteous first paragraph? How silly of me.) It's total comfort food. One of the most blissful, satisfying meals I ever ate was a bowl of slow-simmered hambone soup, with a warm slice of homemade whole wheat bread, and a side of 24-Hour Salad.
Notes: The original recipe calls for dressing the salad with straight mayonnaise. I prefer to gussy mine up, but it works just fine on its own. Be sure to layer the dressing between the chopped veggies; somehow this infuses the whole salad with flavor. If you have any way of keeping the salad from sitting in its liquid, such as placing a wire rack at the bottom of the bowl, or putting the whole thing in a salad spinner, do it. And yes, you must wait the whole durn 24 hours. Or at least 20, anyway. ;)
1 cup mayonnaise
good dollop sour cream
bit of lemon zest and juice
black pepper and paprika to taste
(dill might be nice, too)
1 head iceburg lettuce, chopped, rinsed, and dried
2 large carrots, grated
3 celery stalks, sliced thin
3-4 mushrooms, sliced thin
~1 1/2 cups frozen peas (still frozen; they'll thaw in the fridge)
2 scallions, sliced thin
1 large tomato, sliced
5 eggs, hard boiled, peeled, and quartered
salt and pepper
Combine dressing ingredients in small bowl and set aside. Place half the lettuce in large serving dish (a glass bowl is really pretty). Mix the carrot and celery and arrange evenly over lettuce. Spread half the dressing over the carrot/celery, sprinkle with half the sliced scallion, then add the peas. Add the rest of the lettuce, top with mushrooms, remaining scallions, and second half of dressing. Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours, arranging egg quarters a few hours before serving. Add the tomatoes immediately before serving. Season with salt and pepper. Be sure to scoop deep to get all the layers.