♫ Summertime, and the living is easy….and it just doesn’t get any easier than this Chopped Salad! I made a large salad to take to a 4th of July party, but you can make a small salad just for yourself in a very few minutes.
I headed to a local store that has a great selection of organic produce and shopped for the best-looking vegetables in a variety of colors. I came home with cauliflower, jicama, grape tomatoes, radishes, a yellow pepper, carrots, corn, and sugar snap peas. The bulk olive section had pitted Niçoise olives, so I bought some of them as well. Kalamata olives, which are probably more available, would make a good substitution.
At home I already had jarred pickled red peppers (Mama Lil’s, to add a bit of spice) and some spinach. I thought the spinach would hold up better than lettuce for a potluck salad.
The vegetables I chose are merely suggestions. You can use whatever appeals to you. My goal was to make a vegetable salad that would withstand sitting on the table for a few hours without having any ingredients spoil or wilt. If I were serving it right away, I might add chopped lettuce, cucumbers, and/or avocados.
For the dressing, I adapted Mark Bittman’s basic Lemon Vinaigrette from his How to Cook Everything cookbook. I wanted something simple that would spotlight the vegetables without overpowering them. It was a perfect match.
Simply add your favorite protein for a fantastic one-dish summertime meal!
This photo was one of Foodbuzz’ Top 9 for July 8, 2011!
An assortment of chopped fresh vegetables (8 – 10 cups for a large salad, less if serving fewer people) Suggested vegetables: Cauliflower, jicama, grape tomatoes, radishes, carrots, sugar snap peas, corn, yellow pepper
Pickled red peppers, to taste
Pitted Niçoise or kalamata olives
Chopped spinach or lettuce
1. Chop everything into bite-sized pieces and put in a large bowl. I like to thinly slice the cauliflower.
Carrots, white and yellow corn, sugar snap peas, and radishes
Added to the bowl: Niçoise olives, yellow pepper, jicama (peeled and chopped), grape tomatoes (quartered), cauliflower (thinly sliced) and Mama Lil’s Peppers
2. Toss with some Lemon Rosemary Vinaigrette (recipe below).
3. Taste for seasoning. Add salt and pepper if needed.
4. Toss in some chopped spinach or lettuce, if desired.
Lemon Rosemary Vinaigrette
(Adapted from Mark Bittman’s vinaigrette recipe in How to Cook Everything)
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon minced rosemary
¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (I needed 2 lemons)
1 clove garlic, pressed
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1. Mix the zest, salt, rosemary and juice. While whisking constantly, slowly add the oil in a stream until emulsion forms. (Or do as I did, and put everything in a Blender Bottle and shake!)
2. Taste to adjust salt.