Apr 30 2012

Thai-Style Chopped Salad

Published by at 7:05 am under Food,Local food,Recipes

I have to confess that just about a week ago, Greg and I had the pleasure of dining at the fine eating establishment that is Applebee’s.  That’s right, we were eatin’ good in the neighborhood (should I mention a trademark here so I don’t get sued?) and it was a PLEASURE.  Not just our wonderful friends and dining companions but the meal was really pretty enjoyable.

I had it in my head that I wanted a nice big salad–you know, the kind they always have at casual restaurants like Applebee’s–but the one I chose ended up being a delicious chopped salad.  It was chock full of chicken, beans and veggies all chopped small and the other-stuff-to-lettuce proportion was far higher than in one of typical big salads.  All those flavors and textures made me one happy casual diner.

So, when it came time to use up more of that roasted chicken in a salad, I was delighted to re-interpret Cook’s Illustrated’s Thai-style Chicken Dinner Salad into a chopped salad.  The elements were all there–chicken, several veggies and a super flavorful dressing but instead of serving in a lump on top of greens, I finely chopped everything, including a bit of farmers’ market romaine, and drizzled with dressing.

The dressing on this salad is insanely flavorful.  The Thai-style combination of peanut, chili, garlic, ginger and lots of lime give an outstanding burst of sweet/spicy/tart/nutty that just coats all those little pieces of healthy goodness.  Packing lettuce, cukes, carrots, onions and chicken all in little pieces makes for big hearty spoonfuls of a little bit of everything–much more satisfying as a dinner than stuff on top of a big mound of lettuce.

Yet another round of dining bliss, only this time from my own kitchen and with local ingredients.  And I didn’t have to pay $10 plus tip for it either!

Thai-Style Chopped Salad

Yield: Makes 2 dinner-sized salads

Thai-Style Chopped Salad

Adapted from The Cook's Illustrated Cookbook.

Ingredients

    For the Dressing
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (tailor to your taste for heat)
  • Salt
  • For the Salad
  • 1/2 cucumber, diced
  • 1 carrot, peeled and diced
  • 4 scallions, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro, minced
  • 2 cups chopped cooked chicken
  • 4 cups chopped romaine or leaf lettuce, washed
  • 1/3 cup unsalted peanuts

Instructions

For the Dressing

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl or large measuring cup and blend using the blade attachment of an immersion blender (or, use a conventional blender, food processor or whisk--if using a whisk, drizzle vegetable oil in last while whisking). Salt to taste. Set aside if using immediately or prepare ahead and refrigerate, up to 4 days.

For the salad

Toss all ingredients except peanuts in a large salad bowl. Sprinkle peanuts on top and add dressing, to taste, just before serving. Salad ingredients (except peanuts and dressing) can be prepared and refrigerated up to 1 day in advance.

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  1. [...] Lindsey of Our Share of the Harvest made a Thai style chopped salad [...]

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