Food & Entertaining - Garden to Table

Salads for a crowd

New flavour twists infuse classic standby salads to liven up the crowd at this year’s backyard bashes

Chopped cob salad (shown above)
Serves 6 to 8

Ingredients
2 heads romaine lettuce, chopped crosswise into 1" strips
2 cups roasted chicken, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
4 hard-boiled eggs*, peeled and quartered
2 avocados, peeled, pitted and chopped
4 tomatoes, (2 red, 2 yellow) cut into ½" pieces
8 strips cooked double-smoked bacon, cut into ½" pieces
½ cup crumbled blue cheese
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice

1 tsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp finely chopped shallot
½ tsp kosher salt
⅓ cup grapeseed oil
2 tbsp chopped fresh basil

Preparation
The ingredients for the chopped salad can be prepared ahead
of time and stored in separate containers to be assembled at the last minute. Make sure you sprinkle the avocado with lemon juice to prevent browning.

Spread chopped romaine on a large square or rectangular serving plate. Arrange chicken, eggs, avocados, tomatoes, bacon and cheese in equal rows on top of the lettuce.

Make the vinaigrette in a small bowl by whisking together the lemon juice, Dijon mustard, shallots and salt; slowly whisk in the oil.  Stir in the chopped basil. Drizzle vinaigrette over salad just before serving.

Traditionally this salad is presented in tidy rows on top of a bed of lettuce, but it can also be composed in layers in a clear glass bowl or tossed all together for a more casual feel.

*To make perfect hard-boiled eggs, place eggs in a pot and cover with cold water. Bring the water to a boil and boil for 1 minute. Turn off the heat and cover the pot with a lid. Leave eggs in the hot water for 12 minutes. Then drain eggs and plunge into ice-cold water for 3 minutes to stop the cooking process. Peel away the shells when cool enough to handle.

 

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