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

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.


Mix the leftover salad in a blender with olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Add 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.


Turn that leftover green salad into hot vegetable soup: Process the 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.


Blend it with V8 juice to create a thick gazpacho (a cold Spanish 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. It’s seriously tasty; however, it will vary depending on the contents of the leftover salad you start with.


Ina Garten, the popular TV cook, blends leftover green salad 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!


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

Or toss the sautéed greens 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.

Mary invites questions, comments and tips at EverydayCheapskate.com, “Ask Mary a Question.” This column will answer questions of general interest, but letters cannot be answered individually. Mary Hunt is the founder of Debt-Proof Living, a personal finance member website and the author of the book Debt-Proof Living, Revell 2014. To find out more about Mary visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.


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