Recipe: Chopped Salad With Apple Cider Vinaigrette
In April, we were in New York City and we dined out a lot. If you would like to read about it, I wrote a blog post – Gluten Free Travel In NYC. While we were there, I was really into ordering Chopped Salads. It’s a common item on NYC Restaurant Menus and it’s generally easy to have them make it gluten free.
If you’ve never had Chopped Salad, it is pretty much just what it sounds like. One thing I love about making these salads at home, is that you get to use up a variety of veggies, fruits, nuts and seeds. I just open my fridge, see what’s in there and start throwing things together.
With enough protein, you can make a full meal out of a Chopped Salad, or keep it clean and simple…with only a few light ingredients and you’ve got the perfect side salad.
You can prep most of the ingredients ahead of time and then dress the salad just before serving. This makes it a great dish to take to a Summer Barbecue or Picnic.
From what I’ve gathered, there is no right way or wrong way to make a Chopped Salad. One general rule, is that these salads must contain fresh produce but you can build on that and add leftover grilled chicken breast and/or some of your pickled beets. Really there is no end the number of combinations you can come up with. I like that!
Most of the time the ingredients get chopped up to create a uniform look but there’s nothing wrong with mixing different looks and textures. Cutting some ingredients small while leaving others larger. Having some things cubed and other things sliced or shredded. The only real rule, is there are no rules.
I like to chop up romaine lettuce but you can use iceberg lettuce or really what ever kind of leafy greens you prefer. If you’re using romaine, the centre, or the heart is best. Leave the base intact and cut across the leaves. I still use a few outer leaves and find the easiest way to chop them, is to cut lengthwise down the centre, stack the leaves and cut across them into 1/2″ wide strips.
The Apple Cider Vinaigrette has become our favourite Dressing for salads. Both The Hubs and I really enjoy this one. If you want a cleaner, lighter dressing, just leave out the spices. The Vinaigrette is lovely either way.
Here is a list of Alternate Toppings. You might consider adding one of these items, or swapping one of them out for an ingredient in the recipe.
- cabbage, thinly sliced
- radishes, thinly sliced
- fennel, thinly sliced
- beets, cooked and cubed
- red or green peppers
- cheese, cubed or grated
- grilled chicken, cubed
- ham, cubed
- bacon, crumbled
- asparagus, cooked and chopped
- olives, sliced
- pine nuts or slivers of almonds
- artichoke hearts, chopped
- head lettuce, chopped into ½" wide strips (cut longer strips down into uniform lengths)
- 20 grape tomatoes, halved
- 2 carrots, peeled and sliced
- 2-3 green onions, chopped
- ½ cucumber, chopped
- ½ Cup green peas (if frozen, thaw before using)
- 1 ripe avocado, chopped
- ⅓ Cup olive oil
- 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
- 1 Tbsp honey
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- ¼ tsp turmeric
- ¼ tsp ground cumin
- ⅛ tsp ground cinnamon
- ⅛ tsp ground nutmeg
- pinch cayenne pepper
- dash of freshly ground black pepper
- In a salad bowl, add lettuce, tomatoes, carrots, onions, cucumbers and peas. Leave avocado to add just before serving. Toss ingredients until blended.
- In a small bowl, or jar, add oil, vinegars, honey, mustard and spices. Whisk, or shake until well blended.
- When ready to serve, add avocado and vinaigrette dressing. Toss until blended. Serve immediately.
To see a text listing of Laureen’s gluten free recipes, click here
For dairy, egg, nut and gluten free flour substitutions, click here
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