16 March, 2010

BIG Salad

My sister and I (and now my nieces too) pretty much have BIG salad nightly. Variations may occur, like shrimp instead of chicken in the summer, or a little cross pollination from each individual signature salad, but it pretty much has stood the test of time. I'm talking yeeeaaars...

lettuce mix (occasionally spinach)
flax seeds
sunflowers seeds (or slivered almonds)
shredded carrots
marinated artichoke hearts
crumbled goat cheese
hard boiled egg
Cardini's Romano Cheese Croutons (we're buying stock in these!)
chicken (recipe to follow) or grilled shrimp
*on occasion I cross pollinate from Julie's signature salad with some chopped red cabbage

Many years ago I lifted this chicken recipe from a live radio show out of NYC and the Hamptons (on Fridays) that I listened to religiously sitting my lifeguard stand.

skinless, boneless organic chicken breasts, rinsed and dissected to within an inch of their life
3 tablespoons melted butter (add a couple of minced garlic cloves when the mood strikes)
1/4 cupish Italian bread crumbs
1/4 cupish grated Parmesan cheese

Combine bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese in a storage or freezer baggie and shake to combine. Dredge chicken breasts on all sides in melted butter and toss (a la Shake and Bake) one at a time in the bread crumb mixture to coat. Place in an olive oil coated baking dish and bake at 350° for about 20 minutes. Cut a breast into bite sized pieces and toss on salad.

Up until a couple of years ago we all drowned our salad in Ranch Dressing til we were boo hissed out of Dietville. Now we rely on my sister's vinaigrette which, actually originated as MY recipe but, through sheer volume of use has become HERS...

2-3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon honey Dijon mustard (I prefer Honeycup Mustard)
1/4 cup Balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup good quality extra virgin olive oil

Mix all ingredients in an airtight container and dispense at your leeezuuure...

Now most salad connoisseurs will turn their noses up at wilted, soggy leftover salad but, not I. Quite often it will serve as a lil amuse bouche before my Kashi Go Lean Crunch in the morning...

Kindness of Meryl Streep for sharing Julia Child's secret to getting the garlic smell off your fingers after working with it. Lemon juice is the secret. But, I still manage to wrangle my way outta making the vinaigrette when my sister's around. And, when she does return from Mexico, I'll share her signature salad too..XXOO


  1. I love salads, too! And yes, I will eat Salad Leftovers. Doesn't bother me in the least!
    I have a great friend who saves NO food. I can't tell you the times that I've eaten at her house and watched her trash bowls of fresh fruit, salad, mashed potatoes, corn, etc. On occasion I have been fortunate enough to bring home a morsel or two. But she's not one to offer even. Can you imagine???? xoxo

  2. I too have a BIG salad every night! I always mix it up with what is fresh or looks appealing at the market. My favorite breakfast is 'bout wilted leftover salad. My vinaigrette is about the same- o.k., my mouth is watering now and it's not 5:30 a.m.! Kindness to you for bringing on a craving at this crazy hour!!!

  3. rather hungry looking over all these yummy dishes..lunch time is not too far off. Off to catch up on your other posts with lingering images of great food to keep my company.

  4. I love nothing more than a big salad. We eat them all the time here. Honeycup mustard is a fave of mine too and never thought to add it to dressing. Brilliant! Do you ever use the English/Seedless cucumbers? They are much tastier!

  5. What a delish' looking salad. I wrote down all your instructions and plan to add the ingredients to my grocery list. Now if I could get John to eat a Big salad every night I would be all set. Maybe if I serve him the chicken on the side instead of in the salad and add some rice he will go for it...
    Thanks to you for another fab' recommendation.

  6. I love big salads - especially because there are leftovers. My fave is the Dig Deep from the Junior League of Hampton Roads that you make the night before so the flavors mix.

    I'm going to give this a try today.

  7. big salads are my fave! lately i've been on a salad caprese kick (i should buy stock in basil and mozzarella!) but am feeling the urge to get back to the big salad after your delicious post! definately going to try out the chicken recipe tonight...

  8. FINALLY! Even Michael said we're making that tonight (yes, he reads your blog too). And that dressing...looks DIVINE! Skipping out on work early to swing by whole foods! :)

  9. If you were my neighbor, we would have salad suppers together and my dear husband's salad dressing.
    I love having all the fixings at hand for a salad,
    of course I grew up with that ingrained, coming from a farmer's daughter and produce family biz.
    I love salad every day!

  10. I also eat huge salads on a daily basis, it doesn't get old to me at all! This recipe looks amazing and I will definitely give it a try. Thanks for sharing! XO

  11. i didn't have the pasta... picked at the Bolognese sauce tho. And it was divine. Making a big Chef's Salad for dinner tonight and I am going to make a Honey Mustard vinaigrette with the Honeycup mustard. I am so excited I can hardly stand it! (I need a life!!!)

  12. My stomach is now growling - that sounds so good and so simple! Will have to try it. I did bring a salad today for a lunch, so I'm on the right track (although, with bleu cheese dressing, so the Diet Club will definitely be appalled).

  13. What a great blog...look forward to catching up on your posts.

  14. love a big salad. My favorite restaurant salad is the Thai crunch from CPK with avocado in lieu of chicken... really good leftover!

  15. I am literally drooling. That looks divine!! Thank you for sharing!!! :) xox MBM

  16. Looks great. We have BIG salad at least once a week. Thank you for the yummy looking chicken idea. I feel guilty now that I know you do this every night! Maybe my hubby will go for it twice a week.

  17. I eat Cardini's Romano Cheese crutons on their own as a pre-salad appetizer! I am a big fan of using a little red onion and some green beans in my salads!

  18. hubby's working late... big salad will have to wait until tomorrow. Kids are having pasta leftovers. I'm having a liquid dinner! Whooopee!!! ;)

  19. Lime juice also works for removing the scent of garlic from one's hands.

  20. We also love big salads, and this one clearly has the perfect combo of ingredients! Thank you for sharing all of it, especially the chicken recipe as it is such a vital component!

    Sending you a smile,

  21. Made the chicken last night and it was delicious. Added about 1 tbs of parsley tot he mix and s&p'ed the chicken before shaking to a great success.