X

5:30 Challenge: Make this chopped salad that highlights summer produce

Chopped Salad. CONTRIBUTED BY HENRI HOLLIS
Chopped Salad. CONTRIBUTED BY HENRI HOLLIS

Credit: Henri Hollis

Credit: Henri Hollis

A chopped salad is the ideal summertime choose your own adventure recipe. Pick a lettuce, a vegetable, and a protein — and you’re more than halfway to dinner. The only rule is that every component should be able to fit on your fork and be eaten in one bite.

Most chopped salads are built on a base of lettuce; I prefer softer greens here, but you can certainly use romaine or cabbage. To complement the lettuce base, I add diced ripe tomatoes, which are abundant at just about any farmers market right now. Cucumbers or radishes would be equally good.

Diced ham is my protein preference, but any other deli meat will work — simply ask for 1/4-inch thick slices at the grocery store and cut into cubes when you get home. Drained and rinsed canned beans make a good vegetarian option; even better is a half-dozen hard-cooked eggs. Most grocery stores sell them precooked these days, but you can make them yourself, within the 30-minute time frame, if you start the eggs before you do anything else. Steaming, my favorite method for preparing hard-boiled eggs, is written in the recipe below.

To dress the salad, I like a simple mix of oil and vinegar, thickened with freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Use the smallest holes of a box grater or a rasp-style grater for best results. Top the salad with a bit more cheese, a touch of salt, plenty of black pepper, and good bread and butter on the side.

Chopped Salad. CONTRIBUTED BY HENRI HOLLIS
Chopped Salad. CONTRIBUTED BY HENRI HOLLIS

Credit: Henri Hollis

Credit: Henri Hollis

Chopped Salad
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons white or red wine vinegar
  • 6 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1 (5-ounce) package mixed salad greens or other lettuce of your choice, roughly chopped
  • 1 (12-ounce) ham steak, diced; 6 hard-cooked eggs, chopped (see note); or 1 cup canned beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 heaping cups diced tomatoes
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • On the side: Crusty bread and butter
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the oil and vinegar. Whisk in 4 tablespoons of the Parmesan cheese to form a dressing. Add the salad greens, ham (or other protein) and tomatoes and toss to coat evenly in the dressing. Sprinkle in the remaining Parmesan cheese, stir gently to coat, then season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with bread on the side.
  • Note: Use either store-bought hard-cooked eggs or make your own: Bring about 1 inch of water to a boil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Carefully place a steamer basket in the pot. Place six eggs in the steamer basket, cover, reduce the heat to medium and steam for 13 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the remaining salad ingredients, as well as a bowl of ice water. When the timer goes off, use a slotted spoon to transfer the eggs to the bowl of ice water. Let sit until cool enough to handle, then crack and peel the eggs under the water. Chop and add to the salad. Serves 4.

Nutritional information

Per serving: Per serving, using ham: 287 calories (percent of calories from fat, 61), 21 grams protein, 7 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams fiber, 20 grams total fat (5 grams saturated), 63 milligrams cholesterol, 1,046 milligrams sodium.
ExploreMore 5:30 Challenge recipes
ExploreHealthy Cooking recipes
ExploreKitchen Curious recipes
ExploreRecipes from metro Atlanta restaurants

Read more stories like this by liking Atlanta Restaurant Scene on Facebook, following @ATLDiningNews on Twitter and @ajcdining on Instagram.