19 October, 2010

BIG Salad

Excuse while I roll out a repeat cuz I have a toothache to manage til my dental appointment on Tuesday. I've maxed out on my allotted Tylenol for the day and I'm about to pull out the big guns which means, goodnight Gracie pour moi...

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. a head ache is killer but a tooth ache .. knock me out please.Hope you are feeling better!!! Sleep well ...

    These are great ideas ... will have to give them a try..HHL

  2. looks delicious! and martha also has a great remedy... rub your fingers on a spoon... garlic gone... so strange but it works...

    hope you feel better soon...

  3. Your salad dressing has become my salad dressing. It's fabulous! Hope you are able to manage the tooth pain. Feel better soon!

  4. The spoon trick usually does work...but lately I've been getting DH to chop the garlic OR I just use my new garlic press I bought at a Pampered Chef party!

    I make a balsamic vinaigrette that people rave over - no garlic involved! So simple - EVOO and good balsamic vinegar - about a 2:1 ratio like yours - and then wisk in Dijon mustard until thick. Salt and pepper...and taste and adjust until it's wonderful! Yummy over Caprese salad!

  5. That salad looks delish! I was actually thinking of making salad tonight - I may just steal your recipe! Hope your tooth feels better too...I know that's a quick way to disable you! xoxo!

  6. boo-hiss on toothaches! you need to eat soft things, like cupcakes.

    I'm so making that chicken this weekend, yum.

  7. This sounds AMAZING. I am going to make it TONIGHT!!!! Feel better soon darling!

  8. Love any kind of chicken that remotely seems fried. Good luck with the toofies. Sorry you are in pain.

  9. Hope you feel better soon!!! xoxo

  10. Sorry about your teefus but really, if you stick to salads only, the Butt Police might remain at bay a while longer. Word on the street is that theyze watching things closely over that way.

    Just sayin'.

  11. Hope you feel better--nothing worse than a painful toothache.

    I make what I call my "veggie-drawer salad." When I'm inspired after grocery shopping I'll prep my veggies so that I can put the salad together quickly.

  12. Sorry your toothache is raining on your "Summer" day. Salad looks good.

  13. That salad looks like the ultimate! Wow!

  14. Glad to see someone else using artichoke hearts. Good idea to use in salad. I always use them as appetizers.