Tasty Tuesday and a Hearty Chef Salad

Welcome to another Tasty Tuesday! Today we have a hearty Chef Salad!As the temperatures rise, we often find ourselves not wanting to heat the oven up. We are still hungry, but a big hot meal is just not that appealing! A Chef Salad is the perfect antidote to a hungry tummy on a hot summer day! So without further ado, let’s begin!

Ingredients:

Salad

  • Lettuce (whatever kind you like! I used Romaine)
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 c sliced green onion
  • 4 large slices of ham
  • 4 large slices of turkey
  • 8 slices of cheese (I used cheddar but you could do multiple cheeses whatever you like)
  • 6 strips of cooked bacon
  • 6 boiled eggs

Optional Vinaigrette Dressing (you could use whatever dressing you like)

  • 3/4 c Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/4 c White Wine Vinegar
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/4 c chopped parsley
  • 2 tsp Dried Basil
  • 1/4 tsp Oregano
  • 1/4 tsp Crushed Red Pepper
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Begin by chopping the lettuce. I purchased one of these bags of Romaine Hearts. They have three Romaine hearts in them.

Take one of the Romaine hearts, and cut along the vein, starting a few inches up from the stalk base and cutting down to the opposite end.

Rotate and do this for each of the veins in the same method.

Now starting at the leafy end, make horizontal slices about every inch up to about 2″-3″ from the stalk end. Discard the stalk end.

Put the chopped lettuce in colander and wash, and pat dry with paper towels. I chopped all 3 of the Romaine hearts and it basically filled the colander.

Next, take your cucumber and a peeler, and peel leaving small strips of the skin still showing around the cucumber.

Slice lengthwise and then make horizontal slices, set aside.

For my boiled eggs, I use an egg slicer, but you could chop them or quarter them however you prefer. These slicers work beautifully.

It took me no time at all to slice all the eggs. Also slice your cherry tomatoes in half, set aside.

Take your ham and stack up your 4 slices, cut down the middle. Then take one half and stack on the other half so you now have 8 halves stacked up.

Begin making slices down the 8 halves in narrow strips.

Do the same thing with the turkey and set aside. Next, stack your cheese and make narrow slices.

Chop your bacon and set aside.

Now you are ready to assemble your salad. Begin by putting about 1/3 of the lettuce in a large bowl, and add just a little bit of each of the ingredients you have chopped. Toss it (I use my hands, its fast and easy).

Add another 1/3 of the lettuce, and a little bit more of the toppings, and toss again.

Beautiful!

Now take all the remaining toppings and make rows of each topping. My suggestion, take whatever topping you have the most of (mine was cheese) and make that the center row first. Then add in row by row, saving whatever topping you have the least of to go on last. My bacon and hardboiled eggs was what I had the least of, so they went on the outside rows.

Voila! That was easy! Now you could serve it up with whatever dressings your family likes, but I am including a very easy vinaigrette recipe as well if you would like to give it a go. The way I learned it, you want 3 parts olive oil and 1 part vinegar (I used White Wine Vinegar). I use a glass jar with a lid so I can shake it up.

Now juice a lemon, to get 1 1/2 Tbsp of the lemon juice (you can adjust this to taste).

And add the lemon juice to your dressing. Chop your parsley.

Add it to the dressing along with your minced garlic and spices adjusting according to taste. Look below, isn’t that pretty?

Now shake it up. This is a zippy dressing.

And finally, chop some green onions, and sprinkle on the top of your salad. And that is all there is to it! I leave the dressing for the guests to put on to their taste.

Such a tasty, hearty salad! And it goes so nicely with crusty bread!

I added in a bowl of watermelon chunks and a platter of blueberry muffins. Let me serve it up!

Oh, did you want a little more meat on your salad? No problem! There, how is that?

That is some fuel for your furnace! My husband always says you can’t work like a horse if you eat like a bird!

Let me slice you some bread and offer you some Kalamata olives to go with your salad!

Please, don’t be bashful! Dig in!

You know what I love about this salad is that you could literally go to your refrigerator and just start gathering up all the food you need to use up and toss them in your salad! Cheese about to expire? Throw it in! Veggies left from a veggie platter? Chop them up and throw them in! A few pieces of bacon left? Fry it up, chop it and throw it in!

We use to have a friend we lived next door to when we were first married (we had a little condo). Our friend Charlie was so nice, and we all were poor, so we shared a lot of meals, it was fun and it helped us stretch our dollars. One night he invited us over for a dish he called “Svengali” (isn’t that a great name?) And he asked if we had a can of corn or green beans and to bring it. So we did along with a dessert, and he just kept adding canned goods and pasta and some ground beef to a big pot. We laughed, and he said its what you make when you don’t have enough of any one thing to be a stand alone. So you cook up a pot of “Svengali”! And you know what? It was really good! But in part because we had fun being creative and being together!

Those days were some of the best days even though we had to watch every single penny! But there was a joy in our hearts, just carefree folks working an honest day’s work and looking forward to a cheerful dinner every evening.

Breaking bread and sharing a meal is just so delightful, and maybe even a bigger blessing when hungry tummies come together with humble hearts sharing what you have. It doesn’t have to be fancy. Just bring your smile and warm heart and cheerful stories and maybe something to toss into the salad! When we each bring a little something to the table, I think we all share in the experience, and the food tastes that much better because we partnered in creating it. That is true in life as well. Coming together, working together, sharing in the chores as well as the feasting, well its a bonding experience! And it feels pretty nice!

I hope you have a fantastic week!

I’ll be back Friday for another Fashion Friday!

Love Always,

Amy

“None of us, including me, ever do great things. But we can all do small things with great love, and together we can do something wonderful.”   ~Mother Teresa

 

 

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