|Chopped Salad like this is one of my favorite summer lunches.|
(This recipe was revisited and updated with photos June 2011.) When it's summer, chopped salad like this is one of my favorite things to have for lunch. What makes chopped salad so appealing in my mind is the crunch factor, often achieved by using less lettuce and proportionally more other ingredients than most salads. This salad has romaine, arugula, radishes, celery, carrots, and sometimes cucumbers, but it's the savory combination of radishes, arugula, and Gorgonzola cheese that make it a wow for me. If you don't like all those flavors, use the ones you like and it will still be a nice crunchy salad.
Let's talk a little about the Gorgonzola cheese and blue cheese dressing I'm using here so the South Beach Diet police don't come and ring my doorbell. The Gorgonzola I buy at Costco has only 8 grams of fat in 1/4 cup of cheese, so that's pretty low in fat for the tablespoon of cheese I use on each salad. Blue cheese is not prohibited for South Beach, but the books do say "use in moderation." My trick for Blue Cheese Dressing (which I could never give up completely for any diet) is to buy a famous brand of blue cheese dressing and then mix it half and half with buttermilk when I bring it home from the store. I actually prefer that lighter dressing, and since buttermilk only has 2.5 grams of fat in a cup, it makes the dressing much lower in fat. I even used to feed this "light" blue cheese dressing to my dad, a real blue cheese lover, and he never noticed a thing.
I like a combination of chopped arugula and chopped romaine in this salad, but if you're not a fan of arugula just use all romaine.
Toss all the salad ingredients together with enough lightened blue cheese dressing to barely moisten the ingredients.
Dish up the salad for each person and sprinkle with a little Gorgonzola cheese. Yum. I could eat this right now.
And just for fun, here's the one-and-only photo of this salad from the original post in June of 2006. Aren't you glad I'm updating my old posts with better photos?
Crunchy Chopped Salad with Gorgonzola
(Makes 2 large lunch salads or four side dish salads, recipe created by Kalyn.)
1 large handful (about 2 cups) chopped romaine lettuce
1 large handful (about 2 cups) chopped arugula or spinach
1 cup celery, sliced in 1/2 inch slices
1 cup radishes, cut in fourths lengthwise
2/3 cup carrots, cut in 1/2 inch slices
2 small cucumbers, cut in fourths, then sliced in 1/2 inch pieces (optional, I often leave out the cucumber)
3-4 T your favorite blue cheese salad dressing (I mix bottled blue cheese dressing half and half with buttermilk for a "light" blue cheese)
crumbled Gorgonzola cheese, about 1 T for each salad
fresh ground pepper to taste
Chop arugula and romaine, wash in salad spinner, and spin dry. (Or wash by hand and pat dry with paper towels. Chop radishes, celery, carrots, and cucumbers (if using).
Put romaine, arugula, cucumbers, celery, radishes, and carrots into large bowl and toss with blue cheese dressing. Arrange on two plates (or four small plates for side dish salads), sprinkle Gorgonzola cheese over, and season with pepper.
Other veggies I might try in a salad with the radish/Gorgonzola cheese combination include chopped broccoli or cauliflower, red bell pepper, or fennel.
South Beach Suggestions:
This salad would be a perfect lunch for any phase of the South Beach Diet. As a side dish, this salad would taste great with Greek Meatballs or Very Greek Grilled Chicken.
More Chopped Salads with Crunchy Ingredients:
(Recipes from other blogs not always South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Crunchy Cruciferous Chopped Salad from Kalyn's Kitchen
Chopped Salad with Sugar Snap Peas, Jicama, Radishes, Tomatoes, and Green Garbanzo Beans from Kalyn's Kitchen
Zucchini Feta Chopped Salad from Family Fresh Cooking
Chopped Greek Salad from Use Real Butter
Summer Chopped Salad with Garbanzo Beans from Mountain Mama Cooks
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)
(This recipe was originally posted in 2006 for Sweetnicks ARF/5-A-Day, the weekly food blogger event where Cate reminded us to eat plenty of fruits, veggies, and anti-oxidant rich foods.)