Wednesday, April 7, 2010

This Chef's Chef Salad

Most everyone is familiar with the concept of a chef (or chef's) salad - meat, cheese, eggs, lettuce - done. It's simple to assemble and requires little to no cooking, which makes it perfect for nights like this one in the valley - where it was hot and gorgeous out and all I wanted to do was sit outside and bask in the last glimmering rays of light.

The origins of chef salad are somewhat unclear. Some say it's a specific recipe created by a chef at the Ritz-Carlton. Others say it's just an idea based on the Greek dish salmagundi. (Interestingly enough, salmagundi was the name of my high school yearbook. It means miscellany in that sense; just a little ValleyWriter trivia for you there...).

I interpret the name to mean "whatever the chef feels like putting in the salad," which usually translates to "whatever's in my kitchen." Here's tonight's offering:
For the toppings tonight, I used some leftover ham from Easter, some deli turkey meat and gouda cheese. I didn't feel like cooking hard boiled eggs (LAZY!), so I didn't! It was just as good without. Here's the basic recipe:

ValleyWriter's Chef Salad
(Serves 2)

2 hearts of romaine
1 large tomato
1 thick slice deli turkey (about 3 oz.)
3 oz. baked ham
2 oz. gouda cheese
2 pepperoncinis
Your choice of dressing (I used Italian; Mr. ValleyWriter went with blue cheese)

Chop or tear up lettuce into bite-sized pieces. Divide between 2 bowls.
Cut tomato into wedges. Place half in a ring on top of each bowl of lettuce.
Cut turkey, ham and gouda into 1/4" thick slices. Place 1/2 on top of each bowl of lettuce, in layered rings.
Top with a pepperoncini and desired dressing.

Sit outside with a glass of wine or a cold beer and enjoy!


BlackLOG said...

I have no problem with the concept of a Chef salad as long as there is no lettuce, tomatoes vegetables etc and you get a side order of chips (fries in your language) to balance the diet.....

"Prof. Kitty" said...

This looks great, I esp. like the perky pepperoncini on top! And here's a strange thing--I was just googling "salmagundi" a few hours ago to figure out what the heck it was. Coulda just checked here!

kathryn said...

Yummy. You had me at cold beer or wine.

(No, really you had me before that!)

I thought that was a jalapeno pepper and I was SO PROUD that I knew what it was!


(Dammit.) Perfect meal for a hot, beautiful day!

Lauren (Healthy Delicious) said...

looks great! and I think I prefer it without the egg :)