Rainbow Layer Salad with Buttermilk Herb Dressing
1 head iceberg lettuce, cut into 1 to 2-inch pieces (bite-size)
1 pint Cherry tomatoes, halved
1 to 1 ½ cups red cabbage, shredded
Orange bell pepper, large dice (half-inch)
1 cup baby spinach leaves
6 hard-boiled eggs, quartered
10 strips bacon, cooked and roughly chopped
5 green onions, green and light green parts, finely chopped
Sharp Cheddar cheese, thick shred
10 asparagus spears, cut into 1-inch pieces, blanched
¾ to 1 cup buttermilk herb dressing
Measurements may vary depending on the size of your bowl.
A large glass bowl is ideal for this salad, especially one where the base is the same width as the top (like a trifle bowl).
To blanch the asparagus:
Fill a medium saucepan about two-thirds with water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Meanwhile, fill a medium bowl with ice and water; set aside.
When the water begins to boil, add the chopped asparagus and blanch until bright green and just tender, about 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer asparagus to a strainer and place the strainer in the ice water for 2 minutes. Remove strainer and place asparagus on a layer of paper towels to dry.
To assemble the salad:
Line the bottom of the bowl with a thick layer of iceberg lettuce, about 2 inches high. Add a layer of the halved cherry tomatoes, hugging the edge closely and then more loosely spread out toward the middle.
Repeat with the cabbage, bell pepper, spinach, eggs, bacon, onion, cheese and asparagus. Cover bowl and refrigerate for at least one hour before serving, or even overnight, to allow the flavors to meld.
About 30 to 60 minutes before serving, pour the dressing evenly over the top of the salad and refrigerate until ready to serve. There is no need to toss or mix the salad before serving, as the dressing will seep into the layers as the salad rests. Leftovers will keep in the fridge for up to 2 days.