|Tossing the diced chicken, red pepper, and olives with dressing gives this salad that extra something.|
(This recipe was revisited, updated with photos, and added to Recipe Favorites May 2011) For many years it was considered poor form to cut lettuce, but then someone came up with the idea of chopped salad, and food history was made. Of course you don't really need a recipe to make chopped salad, but what makes this version memorable is the step of tossing the leftover chicken, chopped red pepper, and olives with some of the dressing before you add it to the salad. If I'm not starving, I'll even let the chicken marinate in the dressing for a few minutes before I finish the salad. This is something I've been making for years, whenever I have leftover Grilled Chicken or rotisserie chicken in the fridge.
I make my own dressing for this, and I think the combination of two vinegars, a touch of Dijon, and dried Italian herbs I use here goes perfectly with the other ingredients. If you don't want to bother making the dressing, this would still be delicious with your favorite bottled Italian Dressing. (If you're making it for the South Beach Diet, choose dressings that have soybean oil or olive oil and not more than 2 grams of sugar per serving.)
Fiesta 2-Quart Serving Bowl shown in this photo, and I bought four of them especially to use for large lunch salads.
(Makes enough dressing for 10-12 salads. Adjust salad ingredients to make as many salads as you'd like. Recipe created by Kalyn.)
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 T Balsamic Vinegar
1 T Dijon Mustard
1 tsp. Italian Seasoning herb blend
1/2 tsp. Vege-Sal or salt
Fresh ground black pepper to taste, about 1/2 tsp.
1 Cup extra virgin olive oil
Combine all ingredients except olive oil in bowl or glass measuring cup. Whisk in olive oil, a little at a time until ingredients are well combined.
For each salad:
1 cup diced leftover chicken breast, cut into pieces 1/2 inch square
1/4 cup chopped red pepper, cut into pieces 1/2 inch square
1/4 cup black olives, cut in half
2 large handfuls chopped romaine lettuce
2 T crumbled Feta cheese
Make dressing and let it sit to blend flavors while you prep salad ingredients.
Chop chicken and red bell pepper and slice olives. Put those ingredients in a small bowl and toss with 1-2 T of dressing and let it marinate while you prep other ingredients.
Chop lettuce into bite-sized pieces, wash if needed, and spin dry or dry with paper towels. Crumble Feta cheese.
Put the chopped lettuce into a large salad bowl, adding a little more dressing if desired. Top with the marinated chicken, chopped red pepper, and olives. Sprinkle with crumbled Feta cheese and enjoy!
Extra dressing can be kept in the refrigerator for a few weeks. You will need to let the leftover dressing come to room temperature and shake it again each time you use it. If you don't want to make the dressing, just use your favorite bottled Italian dressing.
South Beach Suggestions:
All the low-glycemic ingredients used in this salad make it perfect for any phase of the South Beach Diet. If you're using a purchased salad dressing, choose one with soybean or olive oil and not more than 2 grams of sugar per serving for South Beach.
More Tasty Ideas for Chopped Salad:
(Recipes from other blogs not always South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Baby Arugula Chopped Salad with Chicken, Fresh Mozzarella, and Tomatoes from Kalyn's Kitchen
Peperoncini Chopped Salad with Romaine, Red Bell Pepper, and Feta from Kalyn's Kitchen
Leftover Chicken Chopped Salad with Cafe Rio Style Creamy Tomatillo Dressing from Kalyn's Kitchen
Spicy Cabbage Salad with Tomatoes, Radishes, and Celery (Puerto Rican Cabbage Salad) from Kalyn's Kitchen
Israeli Chopped Salad from Cafe Liz
Italian Chopped Salad from What's Cooking Chicago
Cobb Salad from Simply Recipes
Mexican Chopped Salad with Avocado Dressing from The Paupered Chef
Southwestern Chopped Salad from Sauce and Sensibility
Chopped Chicken Salad from Macheesmo
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)