There are countless food abominations out there. Ketchup on steak, any sugar-free candy your dentist gives you as a kid, and gas station seafood are all an affront to the proud culinary history of the human race. You can go ahead and add salad lasagna to list as well.
The dish was, at least, prepared with good intentions (the exact kind the road to hell is paved with, presumably). When asked what possessed him (besides the devil) to create the dish, Dick Chmeller, an engineer from the United Kingdom (naturally this came from England), told TODAY Food that he made the dish up on the spot after learning, while preparing dinner, that his wife’s dinner guest was a strict vegan. Thinking on his feet he abandoned whatever socially acceptable food he was making and created this abomination.
As dramatic as the first two paragraphs were, I’m not actually sure why this salad lasagna bugs me so much. It’s literally just a salad but shaped weird. The guy didn’t bake it (which would be legitimately foul). But for some reason, this looks wrong. I’d be fine with a salad taco — as in a folded piece of lettuce with the contents of the salad laid within. Obviously, a vegan lettuce wrap is totally acceptable too. But there’s something unsettling about salad in lasagna form.
It’s probably because salad and lasagna are total food opposites. Salad is light and fresh and cool. Lasagna is heavy and hot. Salad works as a taco, a sandwich, or a wrap because those foods are capable of being light and fresh on their own. Lasagna isn’t any of those things. Ever. You could make a healthy lasagna, maybe. But it’d still be hot and kind of heavy. A salad calzone would be equally appalling.
This may all be based on semantics but I don’t care. Presentation is part of the dish. Keep this away from me.