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Salad for a small crowd


Fernwood
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Any advice about salad portions? I need salad to serve about 25 at lunch for an organization; I expect the rest of the menu to be nothing more than lasagna, bread and dessert. Diners are all ages. I invariably have difficulty judging salad amounts for small dinner parties, so I am stumped about what quantity of greens to start with here. As the menu is limited, I want a generous amount, but I am just as likely to make 3x too much. Do the pros have a rule of thumb?

Thanks, Fern

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I think it will depend on how you're planning to serve it. In my experience, if a tossed green salad is part of a buffet, not much gets taken. A small handful per person will probably be more than enough. If it's served family style at a table, I think people will tend to take more.

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Agreed- do it by the handful. Conversely -- and if you can find them -- individual petite mini-butterheads (someone help me, I forget the official name) make a nice presentation.

Don't dress ahead of time; toss the greens with whatever else you're adding (honey roasted walnuts, dried cherries, etc) but let diners dress their own so that leftovers will keep longer.

Also, it is true: if you're serving buffet style, very little salad will ultimately be eaten, so it's safe to err on the side of less is more in this case.

BeefCheeks is an author, editor, and food journalist.

"The food was terrible. And such small portions...."

--Alvy Singer

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If they are major salad eaters, and you have someone serving at the buffet: about 4 lbs total of whole lettuce & greens & "other bits". Or 2 x 1lb (454 gm) boxes of spring salad greens .The nutrition info label says 3oz. per serving, but in a buffet the leaves will usually go farther.

about dressing: you will use less dressing if you pre-dress the salad, but then the leaves wilt, look smaller, and people might take more :unsure: . If you want to have diners dress their own salad, put a small ladle in the bowl, the size of portion you planned for (i.e., 1 oz = 2 tbsp, which is average)

Karen Dar Woon

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I just served 117 people a "small-handful" plated salad with 6lbs of organic mesclun. And I had leftovers.

I think 2lbs will be plenty of greens, even if you have some serious salad eaters on hand.

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