Chop Talk


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.


  1. says

    Mmmm a hearty salad. Good stuff. If you can find a copy of Salads: Innovative Main Course, Appetizers, Desserts and More by Peter Gordon I highly recommend it. Gordon comes up with really wonderful combinations–zucchini, fennel, apple, hazelnut and asparagus anyone?

  2. says

    this is exactly what i need right now… after a few months of heavier fare and heartier dishes, this is exactly what i need. fresh and light and filling and delicious.

    i think maybe you’ve inspired me to put away the sour cream…

  3. says

    So, if you have no Champagne vinegar on hand, could you pop a bottle of bubbly and use it instead?

    Then, of course, it is quite necessary to pour yourself a glass, then another.

    Then, of course, you shouldn’t handle the sharp knife needed to prepare the salad so you instead flop down on the couch with the rest of the bottle (why waste?).

    HEY, I LIKE THIS RECIPE TOO MATT! Thanks for sharing!

  4. says

    MMmmmmm….I can’t wait to try it! I was going to say “I love anything with Green Olives” but then I had to add “feta” and “prosciutto” and “fennel” and…well, you get the point!

    This salad sounds like it ROCKS!!!

  5. says

    im thrilled you love salad. i do too. it’s so refreshing and can hit so many cravings at once… similar to soup — you can put anything you want in it! i adore that you recommended this to your mother! i cant remember the last time i made my own dressing (sad I know). I’ll have to get moving on this! thanks for the recipe matt!

  6. says

    I am a big-big fan of chopped salads in all their various guises. This one’s definitely on my list. Hey, I can even make it in the temporary kitchen! :)

  7. says

    This salad looks spectacular. I love Jar and I love fennel! Plus I have some prosciutto that I don’t know what to do with. Looks like it’ll be used in this salad. Thanks so much.

  8. says

    Champagne vinegar…how extravagant love the salad dressing u have there.Would be excellent to make for a special lunch.Salad yet fancy !

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