A typical chef’s salad boasts hard-boiled eggs, cucumbers, tomatoes, cheese, and meat on a bed of dressed greens. This garlicky anchovy vinaigrette adds some punch to the mix.
Salads are some of my favorite healthier meals. They give you the opportunity to “eat the rainbow”, save money, use up little bits of leftover meat and cheese — and best of all, salads taste great!
One of my favorites to make for a midweek lunch or to serve to girl friends is the Chef’s Salad.
Said to have been created sometime in the 1930’s, the Chef’s Salad typically boasts a number of toppings: hard cooked eggs, cucumbers, tomatoes, cheese, and meat, such as roast beef, ham, chicken, or turkey. The assortment of proteins and vegetables rests on a bed of dressed greens, as a salade composee.
The traditional dressing for a Chef’s Salad is Thousand Island. Since I reserve that for my hamburgers, I’ve punched up this Chef’s Salad recipe with a garlicky vinaigrette. Several early recipes for the salad include anchovies, so I tossed a bit into the dressing for good measure.
And to be all authentic and everything.
You can this Chef’s Salad appropriate for paleo or Whole 30 diets by omitting the cheese. Easy peasy. As long as your ham doesn’t have additives, the dish is naturally gluten-free.
How to make this good and cheap:
Here are some of the strategies you can use to make this recipe more economical:
- Stock up on ingredients when they are on sale. The meats and the cheese are the high price items in this recipe. Watch for sales and stock up.
- Use up leftovers! This is a great salad to toss on the little bit of last night’s roast chicken. Don’t let those little bits go to waste. You’ve got four days to use them up, so make salad.
- Make your own dressings. Bottled dressings are either way too expensive or full of junk. I love to make my own dressings. Not only are they quick and economical to prepare, but they allow me to control the ingredients that I use.
How I make this recipe easy:
This recipe really couldn’t be easier than it is, but having the right kitchen tools can really make your time in the kitchen more enjoyable. Over time, I’ve honed my collection so that they are perfect for my needs.
Here are the tools that I use for this recipe:
- plastic cutting boards – I have blue boards for veggies and white boards for meat.
- Ergo Chef chef’s knife – I’ve had my set for several years and they work well.
- salad spinner – I love this large model salad spinner with a salad serving bowl.
- pressure cooker – This is a game changer when it comes to hard cooking eggs!
Chef’s Salad with a Garlicky Anchovy Vinaigrette
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon fresh basil (chopped)
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon anchovy paste or fish sauce
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ cup olive oil extra virgin
- 1 6-ounce package baby greens
- 4 eggs (hard-cooked) peeled and quartered
- 2 cup chicken (cooked and cubed) or ham, turkey, or beef
- 4 oz cheddar cheese (cubed) jack or swiss cheese can also be used
- 1 cucumber peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 tomato cored and chopped
- In a small mixing bowl or jar, combine the vinegar, basil, garlic, anchovy paste, salt, and pepper, Stir or shake to combine. Add the olive oil and stir or shake to combine.
- Place the mixed greens in a large salad bowl and add enough dressing to coat. Divide the dressed greens among four plates.
- Top each plate with 1 egg, ½ cup chicken, ¼ cup cheese. Divide the cucumber and tomato evenly among the plates. Serve immediately with extra dressing on the side.