This is a Salad—Made of Pretzels

December 24, 2015

Are you currently at the airport, or en route to it? No. The mall?

First: I am sorry. We’ve all been there, recently.

Second: Let’s make lemonade, but don’t ask where this positivity is coming from. Blame it on the eggnog in my coffee, or Will Ferrell in elf Spandex.

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Next: Find the Auntie Anne’s or the Wetzel's Pretzels or whatever soft pretzel producer there may be—there is always one at the mall and the airport. Follow the scent.

Then: Buy some pretzels but do not eat them. No pain, no gain, people.

Once you get to safety—your house or your Granny’s, maybe your childhood bedroom—turn the now cold, slightly-hard pretzels into a salad. But this is not a January salad, it is a fully December salad: joyful and festive and awe-inspiring.

If smiling’s your favorite but you need to cheat on the holiday season just a little bit, here’s your fix. It’s salad—made of pretzels.

This is a good idea in real life, not just in a "make it worth situation" on a cooking show, because pretzels stay soft on the inside while crisping on the outside, take well to liquid (i.e. dressing), and speak up above other loud ingredients. Here, the shouters are hearty brassicas (brussels sprouts and broccoli), mustard, sauerkraut, and pickled red onions (adapted from fiveandspice's recipe). Dates add sweetness but not sugariness. Sausage wouldn't be an outsider here, either. Other hot dog toppings—except chili—too.

Did you just take a deep breath and smile? Good, I was hoping so! You know what my Christmas wish is? For someone to bring the ingredients for this salad in a big jar to the airport (3.4 ounces of dressing only!!), pick up some pretzels past security, shake it all together, and then eat it on the plane home—with some airplane peanuts thrown in.

I think this is how you survive the holiday season.

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See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Amanda Sims
    Amanda Sims
  • Riddley Gemperlein-Schirm
    Riddley Gemperlein-Schirm
Editor/writer/stylist. Author of I Dream of Dinner (so You Don't Have To). Last name rhymes with bagel.


Amanda S. December 26, 2015
The smile has arrived.
Riddley G. December 24, 2015
Pretzels! Dates! Pickled onions! This is genius.