Crunchy Cottage Cheese Veggie Salad

Too often, cottage cheese is served plain, a bland, boring food. But I fell in love with the stuff after I discovered Mollie Katzen’s “March Hare,” in her Moosewood Cookbook. Here, it’s full of crunch and flavor, and you can make it with whatever you find in the fridge.

In a large bowl, combine:
3 cups cottage cheese
2 T fresh lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste

Diced or grated fresh vegetables, such as:
A carrot
A large tomato, or a handful of cherry tomatoes
A cucumber, peeled and seeded and chopped
Any color of bell pepper
A seeded, chopped jalapeno pepper
A scallion or a couple tablespoons of diced sweet onion
Fresh garlic (1/2 clove is plenty)

Choose some nuts from this category:
The best are a couple of tablespoons of sesame seeds and 1/4 C toasted sunflower seeds
Or use 1/4 C chopped roasted peanuts, walnuts, or pine nuts

Fun things to add:
1/2 C of minced parsley
A handful of cilantro leaves
A small can of sliced black olives
Sliced green olives
Water chestnuts
Sun-dried tomatoes
A dash of Tabasco