Chef Salad

dsc_0192RECIPE #411, DAY #577

FIVE STARS

ORIGINAL RECIPE: “Chef Greene’s Chef Salad,” from Bert Greene’s Bert Greene’s Kitchen*

TIMING: 20 minutes

DIFFICULTY: Easy, as long as you follow advice to boil an egg

TOOLS: Nothing special

COOK TYPE: Stovetop

HEALTH: We all know that having a salad for lunch makes you a saint. This salad does contain lunch meat, which makes it taste lovely and adds protein, but also is cured meat, which if you eat it makes you a low-life. Hm. We use conscientious, no-nitrate lunch meat, which does not do very much for the sodium, but otherwise solves some problems. It also has a creamy dressing, which again is a notch against you. Actually, it’s not bad to have some dairy in your life, and this dressing is made with sour cream instead of mayo.

dsc_0191EXPERIENCE: I have been craving composed salads like chef, cobb, and seven layer, lately. This seemed easy enough to whip up for lunch, but I did so with trepidation. What would my family think? Honestly, Kevin was working the weekend so he didn’t have any, but the kids lurved it. Me too. But a large part of what made it appealing to them was that I set out the components like a homemade salad bar, and let them put it together. (I watched menacingly over their shoulders as they took meat and cheese.)

There’s nothing much to it. It’s sort of like a deli lunch meat sandwich dropped out of its bread and drizzled with a nice, creamy dressing. Yum. I suppose it could be a little bit more fru-fru or distinct, but for straight-up chef’s salad, this’ll do.

NOTES: The kids would do nowhere near the mushrooms, and as much as I love mushrooms, I found them to lack cohesiveness with this particular salad. Add some sliced button shrooms back in if you want. You can add:

  • 4 ounces cherry tomatoes.
  • 1 small moon-sliced cucumber
  • 1 cup drained chickpeas
  • 4 ounces sliced button mushrooms

For grown-ups, you can compose it, but for kids, let them put it together from a salad bar on your counter top.

Yes, your meat can come from the deli. It could also come from leftovers in your fridge. Chicken would work in place of the turkey. And in a pinch, beef would also be okay. And if you don’t like Swiss cheese, use Jack instead.

***

  1. Fill a small saucepan 1/2 full of water and add 4 eggs. Bring to a boil, then immediately remove from heat and cover. Let sit 12 minutes. Immediately, drain the eggs and peel under a stream of cold water. Set aside.
  2. In a salad bowl, toss together 1 can drained artichoke hearts, 4 ounces Swiss cheese cut into strips, 4 ounces ham cut into strips, 4 ounces turkey cut into strips, and 1 sliced scallion. Set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together 1/3 cup olive oil, 1 tablespoon sour cream, 1 mashed clove garlic, 1 teaspoon Dijon, 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar, juice of 1/2 lime, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Add black pepper to taste.
  4. Pour the dressing over the salad mix and toss. Taste for seasonings.
  5. Serve the salad over a bed of large-chopped romaine lettuce, topped with sliced, boiled eggs.

***

Serve as a complete lunch, maybe with a piece of fruit.

LEFTOVER IDEAS: Store the mixture with the dressing separate from the lettuce. Then serve as you did before, or even serve the mixture stirred into cooked and cooled wild rice.

*Recipe changed from the original.

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