Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Chef's Salad

It's been super hot in the Chicagoland area lately, which makes turning on the oven or stovetop contrary to keeping the house cool.  You could step outside and grill dinner, such as this or this or this, but some nights you just want a huge ass salad as a dinner entree.  But you don't have to skip on the protein, enter the Chef's salad.  The origin of the name is debatable, to me it means throw a bunch of meat and cheese on some greens with your favorite veggies, top with a hard-boiled egg or two, and dress lightly with a tangy homemade vinaigrette.  The dinner salad...you can't this in Germany, according to the wife, who after days and days of eating nothing but sausage was craving a giant bowl of lettuce. 

Eat what you like.  Don't like radish? Don't add it.  Want to incorporate a different veg, meat, or cheese? Do it.  The ingredient amounts below are a rough guess, everything should be eyeballed to your liking.  Want the easiest directions on the perfect hard-boiled eggs?  Add eggs to a saucepan, cover with 1" of cold water.  Bring to a rolling boil over medium-high heat, let boil for 30 seconds, then cover and turn off heat.  Let sit for 13 minutes, drain and add cold running water until the eggs are not warm to the touch, for a couple minutes.  The older the eggs, the easier they will be to peel.  

Chef's Salad
2 servings as main dish

6-8 C loosely packed mixed greens, washed and dried
1/2 C thinly sliced and halved cucumber, seeded
1/3 C grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
1 large carrot, peeled and shredded
2 radishes, halved and sliced thin
3-4 slices turkey, julienned
3-4 slices ham, julienned
4" or so off a block of sharp cheddar, cut into small pieces
4" or so off a block of mozzarella, cut into small pieces
2-4 hard-boiled eggs, cooled and sliced
dressing of your choice, this one here is real good stuff

On two large dinner plates, start by adding a lettuce base.  The veg goes next, then meat and cheese, top with hard-boiled egg, dress lightly to taste.  Add some freshly cracked black pepper if desired, then get a fork and sit down and enjoy this big ass dinner salad. 

The tomato plants have been blowing up with the abundant June sunshine....can't wait to add the sweet little cherry tomatoes to salads and the juicy, oh-so-tomatoey beefsteaks to BLT's...

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