Friday, August 28, 2015

Barb's Chopped Salad

I took this before I added the dressing to better show the ingredients.
This is one of those recipes that isn't really a recipe. My friend, Barb, brought a delicious salad to a church potluck. I asked for the recipe. And I got an email back with this message:
"No recipe. I will try and tell you what I did."
Then, the next day, I got another email, saying:
"I think I forgot I also put in rinsed black beans and fresh corn that I cooked in the skillet for a few minutes."
Back in another era, savvy cooks combined a pinch of this and a smidgen of that. I have a tendency to start with a recipe and then adapt from there. A recipe writer opts for unsalted butter: I invariably used salted. Another uses all butter for a drop cookie recipe, but I like the texture that shortening provides, so I substitute all or part.

This recipe for Chopped Salad is kind of like that. If you've just come home from a farmer's market and have fresh zucchini, by all means, chop up some and add it. Same goes for other fresh veggies. This could also be called a "mix and match" salad, I suppose.

For the dressing, Barb gave me some measurements and then terminology like "a splash of honey" and "a splash of vinegar."

She went to all the work to type it and then the recipe got buried at my house until this summer. I measured my splashes and then I lost the internet at home. So I carried my recipe notes to another location. And I lost them.
 So ... I'm giving you my best approximation of things. But this truly is one of those recipes like your Grandma used to make. Add or subtract the veggies you like. Use a pinch more of this or that. It will all be OK. But I would use the avocado, since it adds a nice, creamy texture along with the dressing.

In her original recipe, Barb cooked chicken breasts on top of the stove. Since we are in the midst of grilling season, I grilled seasoned chicken, along with beef to serve to my cattleman. (I like beef, too, but I also like a change of pace once in awhile.)

The recipe makes a large amount, perfect for a potluck or family reunion. You can adjust the amounts downward if you're only serving a few.

This is not a low-cal salad. But it sure is yummy!
I put both my serving and Randy's on a platter for illustration purposes!
Chopped Salad
Recipe from Barb Sewing

4 chicken breasts cooked in non-stick skillet with butter, olive oil, salt and pepper
3 hearts of romaine, chopped
1 bunch green onions, diced
2 green, red or other colored peppers (or use the multi-colored baby peppers)
1 cup shredded cheese (use your favorite)
3 diced avocadoes
1 carton cherry or grape tomatoes (or chop up regular tomatoes)
1 cup rinsed black beans
2 cobs of fresh corn (or use frozen)

1/2 cup mayonnaise or salad dressing
1/4 cup sour cream
2 tbsp. vinegar
1 tbsp. honey
Salt & pepper to taste
Half & half needed to thin the dressing

Cook the chicken breasts and set aside to cool. You may also season and grill chicken or steak. If you're using fresh corn, remove the kernels from the cobs and cook in the same skillet until tender. If you're using frozen, set it out to thaw while you are preparing the other ingredients.

Chop lettuce and other vegetables. Toss to combine.

Combine dressing ingredients, adding ingredients to taste and thinning with half and half. When ready to serve, stir the dressing into the salad and gently toss. Barb also stirred the cooled chicken into the salad. I served it separately. It's delicious either way. Serve immediately.

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