Chicken Caesar Chopped Salad

Friday, July 8, 2011

I'm a huge fan of chopped salads. These are salads where all the ingredients are cut roughly the same size, making it a very easy salad to eat. Usually it involves many ingredients, going for different colors and textures which makes the salad very fun to eat too. The other night I felt like the garlicky goodness of Caesar salad, but wanted the fun ease of a chopped salad. That's how this super easy and simple salad was created. Made even faster by using some leftover grilled chicken from the night before, it's a great way to use up leftovers! If you're up to it, add a chopped boiled egg too. Enjoy!

Chicken Caesar Chopped Salad
4 cups romaine lettuce, chopped bite-sized
2 grilled chicken breasts, chopped
1/2 cup red onion, chopped small
4 roma tomatoes, chopped small
1 Tbsp fresh basil, chopped
1 cup homemade croutons (recipe folows)
1/4 cup good quality extra virgin olive oil
1 heaping Tbsp Dijon mustard
juice of 1 lemon
4 cloves garlic, minced
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbsp finely grated parmesan cheese + more for sprinkling on salad

Combine the romaine, chicken, onion, tomatoes, and basil in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

In a smaller bowl, whisk together the olive oil, mustard, lemon juice, garlic, some salt and pepper to taste, and the tablespoon of parmesan cheese. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss well to combine. Add the croutons and a good handful of more cheese on top and serve.

Homemade Croutons
1/2 loaf day-old bread like chiabatta, french, italian bread
1/4-1/2 cup olive oil (depends on how much the bread soaks up or not)
kosher salt

Cut the bread into cubes. Do whatever size you like -- from small 1/2" cubes to larger 1" cubes. Place in a bowl and add the olive oil and a sprinkle of salt (not too much). Toss to coat the bread well. Add mroe oil if needed to coat the bread (it will depend on how porous the bread is and how much it soaks up initially or not).

Heat a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the bread and pan roast until golden brown on all sides. Conversely, you can spread the bread on a baking sheet and bake in a 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and use in salads, soups, or snacks! Holds up to a week in an air-tight container.

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