Chopped Salad with Tomato-Buttermilk Dressing

WEDNESDAY

Chopped Salad  |  Tomato-Buttermilk Dressing

Intro 2 Collage

 

A couple of weeks ago I purchased two gourmet food items from one of my favorite on-line, pop-up shops, QUITOKEETO

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Being a fan of small-batch, hand-crafted foods, both the ketchup and the honeydew immediately caught my eye.  The ketchup {produced by The June Taylor Company in Berkeley, CA} is “Hand-cut, traditionally stove-top cooked in small pots, resulting in an intense, spicy, full-bodied tomato flavor.  Made with locally-grown fresh vine-ripened tomatoes from small family farms using sustainable agricultural practices.”  As for the honeydew, well…growing up, I spent many summer days at the family farm where my grandfather was raised in Saint-Pacôme, Quebec, Canada and seeing this jar of sweet gold {click here to read about “honeydew”} brought back vivid memories of farm breakfasts with homemade croissants, milk {with a splash of tea} and honeydew…I simply couldn’t resist.  Along with these, and a handful of other beautiful, artisan-crafted items, Heidi {the shop’s proprietress and founder/author of 101 Cookbooks} also posted a few recipes.  I have yet to try the Honeydew Butter {soon, though} but I did choose the Tomato~Buttermilk Dressing for our salad tonight and it transformed this classically “good” salad into an exceptional dinner.

I needed to be out with Max for most of the afternoon running him to football practice and then on to a meeting for All-Star baseball so I prepared {mostly chopping} all of the components early in the day.  When we arrived home around 7pm, I simply needed to toss and plate the salad.

Traditional recipes for chopped salad often call for poaching chicken breast but I prefer oven-roasting {or even grilling} the boneless, skinless meat.  Seasoned simply with a brushing of olive oil as well as a bit of sea salt & freshly ground pepper, the roasted breasts have a rich flavor similar to those cuts retaining the skin and bone.  You can click here to view “How to Bake Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts.”  I also do not chop the lettuces but, rather, leave them whole serving as a bed for the chopped ingredients.  Prepare the Dressing first, allowing time for the flavors to meld and develop.

Tomato-Buttermilk Dressing {adapted from QUITOKEETO}

  • 6 scallions, finely chopped 
  • 2 tablespoons chopped, fresh dill {or 2 teaspoons dried dill weed}
  • 1/3 cup ketchup {preferably organic & not containing high-fructose corn syrup)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons cultured buttermilk 
  • Sea salt and a few grinds of black pepper to taste

Using a mortar & pestle, pound and grind the scallions and dill.  Add the ketchup, olive oil and buttermilk and stir with a wooden spoon to combine ingredients.  Add salt & pepper to taste.  Transfer dressing to a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid and refrigerate.  Allow dressing to come to room temperature for 30 minutes before using.

Dressing Collage

 

Chopped Salad

  • 6 slices of thick-cut bacon, cooked, drained and cut into ½-inch thick pieces
  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, roasted and cut into ½-inch cubes {about 3-4 cups}
  • ½ cup crumbled blue cheese
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs, roughly chopped
  • 1 bunch watercress, stems trimmed and leaves washed
  • 1 head of romaine, trimmed and leaves washed
  • ¼ cup fresh chives, coarsely chopped
  • 2 firm, ripe avocados, sliced
  • ½ pint of sweet cherry tomatoes, washed and halved
  1. Place the bacon, chicken, blue cheese and eggs into a large bowl.  Season with salt & pepper and gently toss.
  2. Using a few romaine leaves and a handful of watercress, create a bed of lettuce on each individual serving plate.  Add a heaping spoonful {or two} of the bacon, chicken, cheese, egg mixture to each plate.  Garnish with some chives, cherry tomatoes, and two slices of avocado per plate.  Top with 1-2 tablespoons of Tomato~Buttermilk Dressing.

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Lettuce Collage

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The finished dinner plate…

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Tonight we indulged in a bit of dessert.  Bowls of vanilla ice cream topped with this lovely fruit…

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K Initial

 

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