We all have basic recipes we can trust with our lives. They always work. They do in a pinch. They taste great, even if you come at it with all of the subtlety of a weed-whacker.
Mine is a salad I've taken to countless potlucks, countless picnics, countless family get-togethers. It absolutely goes with anything. Fried chicken. Shrimpies. A veggie Lasagna. Pork and beans. Thai beef. Hot dogs.
I love the English recipe for green salad: simply bung everything in. Keep calm and carry on. We call this magic food green salad. Not as original as you might wish, but there's a joke here. Everything in it is actually green.
Some kind of lettuce: An iceberg lettuce or a lovely leaf lettuce. Put a little water on it and let it sit in the fridge for a half an hour or so, so it's really crisp. Wash all the veg.
Cucumber, green onions, celery. Peeled, if you need it, and sliced thinly. I use the inner parts of the celery and include the leaves.
Half a bunch of flat-leaf parsley. Roughly chopped. You can use more if you really like the parsley. We do. Surely, you can substitute other herbs to adapt to your own menu.
Salt and pepper, white wine vinegar, a good olive oil.
You can put it together in about 10 minutes. Really, really fresh. Really, really good.