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"To make a good salad is to be a brilliant diplomatist-the problem is entirely the same in both cases. To know exactly how much oil one must put with one's vinegar."
Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author
Salads, Sauces and Marinades

The Kitchen

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This chopped salad is based on one I had at a national chain steak house known for being a high-end, special occasion steak house. Of course any of the ingredients may be left out, substituted or used in any amounts you desire. For the most part, I use equal portions of all.

Preparation Time: 10 minutes      Serving Size: variable

For the salad ingredients, there are no exact measurements. Start with equal amounts of each and adjust next time according to your taste. The key is to chop all the ingredients, including the salad greens into small pieces.

  • Salad greens such as Mesculin Mix or bitter greens
  • fresh spinach
  • red onions
  • fresh white mushrooms
  • Spanish queen green olives
  • crisp fried bacon
  • hard-boiled egg
  • hearts of palm
  • french-fried onions
  • croutons
  • bleu cheese crumbles
  • juice of one lemon
  • twice as much extra virgin olive oil as lemon juice
  • 1/2 - 1 teaspoon good dried basil or 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
  • kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste
  • makes enough dressing for about 4 salads

Make the dressing first and allow to sit about 30 minutes. Place lemon juice, olive oil, basil, salt and pepper in a jar with a tight lid and shake vigorously.

For the salad, chop all ingredients into the same size small pieces. Place the salad greens in a large bowl and toss with a tablespoon or two of the dressing. Add the rest of the chopped ingredients and top with more dressing to taste. Toss with a fork and spoon until everything is well coated. Make a 2-inch tall ring mold out of aluminum foil if you do not have a commercial ring mold. Pack the mixed chopped salad in your mold on a plate. Remove the mold and top with more french-fried onions as a garnish and serve.

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