Tuesday after Columbus Day– maybe it’s time for a salad?
I love salads, but as we all know, it is so tempting to go and buy one. Especially at those places that have a million things you can pick from. Well, let’s make our own. I started making these salads often after I found really cheap tuperwear at ikea. I never had enough storage for all of the ingredients I wasn’t using completely, so making these salads felt daunting. Not anymore. Let’s make a really yummy chopped salad.
My inspiration for this salad is from a place called Sarabeths – there are a few locations throughout new york city. When I was younger I used to go to the one on the upper east side with my mother. On the weekends we would sometimes take a walk over to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and see whatever was new, and I knew that on those days I would have a fancy lunch with my mother. In fact, even as an adult that restaurant held one of my favorite memories. My grandmother was in New York City, seeing specialists, right after she was diagnosed with leukemia. Prior to her diagnoses we decided to take her to dinner at Sarabeths. It was me, my mother and my sister - her oldest daughter and her two oldest grandkids. Since we have such a big family, we usually have so many kids running around when grandma was in town, so much company. But this time it was just the four of us. I think, for my grandmother, it was such an important time for her, to see her granddaughters as adults, responsible, caring, successful adults who she loved so much. I saw the pride in her eyes and she saw it in ours and we all knew she was about to start a battle that would inevitably take her fifteen months later. We sat for hours, laughed, ate, talked about our lives, her life, my mother sat back and listened and smiled. As we walked out of the restaurant, cold air hitting our pink cheeks, she looked at us and said it was one of the best nights of her life. It was one of mine too.
That dinner was memorable.
As are the lunches - Sarabeths inspired me to start making chop salads. They use romaine, chicken, bacon, blue cheese, hard boiled eggs and corn. But instead of mixing it all up, they put it in rows on a plate with a side of balsamic dressing. I tried that once, putting the ingredients in rows, but by the time I got off the 1 train, the entire salad had turned over in my bag a few times and ended up mixed as can be. It still tasted wonderful.
So, here are my favorite ingredients to put into a chop salad.
Chop a head of romaine and add to a large tuperwear container. Add the following in quantities you can decide (remember to chop them up):
· -Hearts of palm
· -Honey Turkey from the deli counter
· -Shredding mozzarella cheese
· -Black beans
· -Hard boiled eggs
· -Cherry tomatoes
· -Potatoes (just boil some new potatoes and cool with cold water, then chop)
For the dressing, I never go bottled. I like to make my own lemon vinaigrette. It is super easy.
· -3 tables spoons of extra virgin olive oil
· -The juice of an entire lemon
· -A table spoon of Dijon mustard
· -A dash of salt and pepper
· -A little lemon zest
Take a fork and whip up this dressing. It is so easy and light and delicious. Put that in a separate little tuperwear container and you are ready to go.