Monday, February 6, 2012

Chopped Salad

As a kid, my Mom would frequently ask me to make the salads that accompanied our family dinners. She'd say that salads were her least favorite thing to make, and I'd go along with it because I was just excited to be in the kitchen. As I'd wash the lettuce, lay it on a soaked paper towel, and proceed to tear the leaves in to tiny pieces, she'd tell me how salads always tasted better when somebody else made them.

While I didn't understand these pearls of wisdom at the time, I totally get it now. I make the same salad combinations week in and week out. I think it's because I grab the same vegetables at the grocery store every trip, and I just go with what I know works. Can't someone provide me with some inspiration?

And then I started to pay attention. Now when I go to restaurants, and I have a dish I love, I try to use the experience to propel new ideas in my own kitchen. That's how I came up with this Beet Salad recipe, and it's also how this Cucina Cucina style chopped salad came to find a regular spot on my weekly menu.

If you've had the chopped salad at Cucina Cucina, you know it's delicious. It's a salad worth your time and chopping. If you have never had the chopped salad from Cucina Cucina, well I suggest you get your booty to the store, get these ingredients, and settle in to inhale a delicious meal.

I'm definitely adding this to my repertoire of regular salads. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

What are your favorite salad combinations? Let me know by clicking on the comments link at the bottom of the post. 


Chopped Salad

1 head organic romaine lettuce, chopped in 1/4 to 1/2 inch pieces
1 cup organic basil leaves, chopped (the more the better)
2 cans organic garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
1 cup coarsely grated mozzarella cheese

12 ounces diced poached chicken breast, chilled
8 ounces. dry wine salami, diced
8 ounces plum tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup grated pecorino romano cheese, reserve half for garnish

1 egg yolk
1 Tbsp. water
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp. minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon coarse black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
2 tsp. dry oregano
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/3 C. red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 C. olive oil

To prepare the dressing: Combine the egg yolk and water in a small bowl and whisk well. Cover the bowl with a small plate and microwave on high for 10 seconds, or until the mixture starts to expand. Continue to cook 5 seconds longer. Whisk with a clean whisk. Cover and return to the microwave 5 seconds. Remove from the oven, whisk with a clean whisk, cover and let sit 1 minute.
In a food processor combine the egg, Dijon, garlic, salt, pepper, dry mustard, oregano, sugar, vinegar and lemon juice; process to blend. Slowly add the olive oil, processing until emulsified. Set aside. (The dressing makes about 1-1/2 C. ; refrigerate the excess).
To prepare the salad: Combine the lettuce, basil, garbanzo beans, tomatoes, mozzarella, chicken, salami, tomatoes, and pecorino romano. Toss with the dressing. Garnish with the remaining cheese and serve.

1 comment:

Alex said...

yum! I love a chopped salad! Palomino has a good one also

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