This layered salad was inspired by one that was an Easter tradition when I was growing up. The original called for iceburg lettuce and plain mayonnaise (or Miracle Whip). I have upgraded some ingredients and made the dressing much more flavorful. The beauty of the salad then and now is that it can be made ahead. It is delicious after sitting for 2 hours in the fridge, but even better after a full day in the cold. Because it is layered as it is, even a couple of days later, it is just as good with no wilting. It is terrific for an elegant occasion. Make it in a beautiful glass bowl for maximum effect.
1 head Romaine lettuce, chopped
1 cup frozen peas
8 ounces fresh asparagus or fresh fennel, chopped and blanched
8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
6 hardboiled eggs, peeled and halved
5 slices crumbled cooked bacon
1/3 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon herbs de Provence
1 teaspoon dill
2 teaspoons salt
¼ cup lemon juice
In a glass bowl, layer the vegetables and cheese in the order given. Though the peas are frozen, they will thaw in the refrigerator and retain their sweetness and texture. In a separate bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients. The dressing will be rather thick. This is necessary to prevent it from causing the vegetables to become soggy. Spoon the dressing over the vegetables and smooth the top with the back of the spoon. Top the salad by arranging the eggs, cut side up. Sprinkle with the bacon and sunflower seeds.