A certain Chicago Italian restaurant chain makes a certain chopped salad that a certain number of people I know are obsessed with.
After all the buzz about a certain Asian Lettuce Wraps recipe of mine (modeled after a certain upscale-nationwide-Asian-restaurant-chain), a certain sister of mine suggested that I give you guys a chopped salad recipe.
When I say "salad," you must understand that I mean so much more than salad. This is a meal. It's your salad, your meat, and your pasta all in one dish.
What You Need:
- 2 bunches green onions (scallions) [thinly cut]
- 3 tomatoes [seeded and diced]
- 1 head of iceberg lettuce [thinly cut -- make it smaller than any lettuce you've ever had and you should be safe]
- 1/2 pound of bacon (I just bought one box of the pre-cooked bacon because I think bacon is actually pretty gross and had no desire to cook it and watch the fat simmer in the pan... outspoken, anyone?) [diced]
- 2 cups ditalini pasta
- 5 chicken breasts [diced]
- 1 small purple cabbage [diced]
- 1 red onion [diced]
- 1 cup blue cheese, crumbled
- 1 cup feta cheese, crumbled
- A really, really ginormous bowl
What You Do:
Step One: Cooking
-After dicing the chicken, cook the chicken breasts in olive oil and pepper. We didn't get too fancy with the seasoning here, because it's going into a salad and shouldn't be overwhelming. Once the chicken is cooked, drain it and cool it by either setting it out or putting it in the refrigerator.
-Cook 2 cups of ditalini pasta until soft, then drain and set aside or in refrigerator to cool.
Step Two: Chop, chop
While the chicken and pasta are cooling, get ready for some serious chopping. Chop, slice, and mince... everything. So, thinly cut those green onions... seed and dice those tomatoes (get the seedy, goopy, soggy stuff out of there & keep only the clean, finely chop-able pieces)... chop the heck out of that lettuce... and dice that bacon, cabbage, and onion...
Step Three: Combine & Toss
Combine the chopped vegetables and fully cooled pasta (you may need to use your hands to break apart and sprinkle pasta if it is sticking together), chicken, and cheeses. Toss - you might need to use your hands because this recipe makes a lot of salad.
Step Four: Serve!
This salad is typically served with a thick, creamy honey or blue cheese vinaigrette... but, to be honest, there are so many flavors going on in this salad that I didn't need any dressing. Cheese, vegetables, bacon, you get it?
Anyone else have a favorite restaurant recipe they're dying to find a way to recreate at home? Let me know and I'll take a crack at it! :)