Chop Talk

by Matt on March 19, 2007


Let’s just get something out of the way, shall we?

I love this salad.

Pure love.

As funny as it sounds, I really am a salad kind of guy. I love greens in all shapes and forms, raw or cooked, and sitting down to a big bowl of leafy lettuces actually gets me a bit excited–believe it or not. But I must admit that there are moments when, as sublime as it can be, a bowl of lettuce with a simple vinaigrette doesn’t quite hit the spot.

Unfortunately those times are more often than not.

Here’s my remedy: a chopped salad. A chopped salad is nothing more than chunky bits of ingredients, all relative in size, tossed in a dressing. That’s it. It really couldn’t be any easier, and it’s a great way to enjoy some veggies without having to make a complete meal. Everything’s in the bowl already.

I have a quick-and-easy version of my own, but when I came across a recipe from Jar restaurant in the LA Times for their version of a cobb salad I knew it was going to be a winner. Anything with prosciutto has my name all over it, and crunchy cabbage and raw fennel are right up my alley. And you know what? This salad is better than I expected it to be, thanks to an intensely flavored dressing that features champagne and rice vinegar. The olives, oregano and thyme lend a mediterranean feel, and the roasted chicken makes this salad an entire meal. Unlike many other things I test, I kept sneaking back to the fridge to eat just a little bit more of this salad, and sadly it disappeared all too quickly.

So there you have it. Perfect for a mid-week meal. Mom, seriously, try this salad. You’ll love it.

Jar Restaurant’s Chopped Salad

Vinaigrette Ingredients
1/4 cup Champagne vinegar
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Dash dried red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
Coarse salt
Freshly ground pepper

1. Mix the Champagne vinegar, rice wine vinegar, olive oil, red pepper flakes, oregano, thyme and salt and pepper to taste. Makes 3/4 cup.

Salad Ingredients
1 1/2 cups thinly sliced green cabbage
1/4 cup thinly sliced carrots
1/2 cup thinly sliced celery
1 cup thinly sliced red onion
1/4 cup shaved fennel
2 teaspoons chopped Sicilian green olives
1 1/2 ounces prosciutto, thinly sliced and torn into 1/2-inch ribbons
1 cup shredded roasted chicken
1/4 cup crumbled feta
1 tablespoon minced Italian parsley

1. Combine cabbage, carrots, celery, onion, fennel, olives, prosciutto, chicken and feta. Mix well with vinaigrette. Top with parsley.