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Chris’s Chopped Salad

Chopped salad is gaining in popularity, and for good reason. It's easy to make and versatile.

Chopped salad is gaining in popularity, and for good reason. It’s easy to make and versatile.

About ten years ago or so, I served a chopped salad I found in a Waldorf Astoria cookbook from the 1950s. The recipe included many fairly common fresh vegetables such as iceberg lettuce and tomatoes. The dressing was either Russian or Thousand Island. I thought the salad was delicious. Imagine my surprise when my guests barely touched it. Fast forward to this summer when I came upon Food Sharing Network photo editor Chris Mathieu making his own version of chopped salad. Here’s his recipe, which is more of a formula for success. Feel free to add and subtract any vegetables you like, with one exception. Stick with a well-rounded, crunchy lettuce like romaine.

Chris’s Chopped Salad

The Basics:

  • Romaine lettuce hearts, cores removed
  • Full-flavored tomatoes
  • Black olives
  • A variety of the following raw vegetables or others you may fancy: red onions, cucumbers, cauliflower, zucchini, peppers, celery, mushrooms, etc.
  • Olive oil
  • Red wine vinegar
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Jane’s Krazy Mixed-Up Salt
  • Jane’s Krazy Mixed-Up Pepper
  • Italian seasoning
  • Garlic powder
  • Basil and/or oregano, if you like
  • Crumbled feta cheese
I love this photo. The vegetables glisten because condensation formed when they were removed from the refrigerator before the AC kicked in.

I love this photo. The vegetables glisten because condensation formed when they were removed from the refrigerator before the AC kicked in.

Wash vegetables and allow them to dry. We use a salad spinner or paper towels for lettuce.

Peel and remove undesirable parts of vegetables such as crummy lettuce leaves, waxy cucumber peel and cauliflower stems.

Using a large sharp knife, chop the ingredients into bite-size pieces. Don’t use a dull knife. It will cream them and frustrate you.

Combine chopped vegetables in large bowl and sprinkle with spices and cheese to taste.

Don’t go crazy with spices and cheese. You’ll have an opportunity to add more.

Sprinkle surface of combined ingredients lightly with red wine vinegar. Add olive oil very judiciously. Use only enough to coat the lettuce without creating a puddle in the bottom of the bowl.

In 10 minutes, adjust seasonings as desired. Let salad sit for about 5 minutes more. You are good to go!

Taste Alert: Always make salad with fresh vegetables that you have trimmed yourself. Using pre-cut ingredients, which can be dull and short on flavor, is risky business.

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