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In Praise of the Chopped Salad

Posted by in Culinary Delights

In today’s world where we’re all rushing around trying to get everything done, in the right way, at the right time, isn’t it nice to know you can chop up whatever you can find in the crisper drawer of your fridge and/or growing in your garden and come up with something that’s at once comforting and always just a bit different? Yup, it’s like taking all those chaotic, disparate sections of your life, your job, your interests and mixing them up into one delicious mix that’s got some good, gratifying crunch.

Working with what I had in the fridge, I made the salad you see pictured in less than 3 minutes.


  • Chopped fennel
  • Chopped carrots
  • a couple handfuls of TJ’s baby kale, spinach, chard lettuce mix (my new favorite staple)–chopped
  • 1/4 can garbanzos
  • 1/2 avocado–cubed
  • 1 stalk green onion–chopped
  • 10 plum tomatoes, halved
  • 1 roasted pepper from the jar–chopped
  • 3-4 strips TJ’s precooked chicken–diced
  • 1 tbs. Olive Oil
  • 1/2 tbs. Ranch Dressing

All I had to do was toss it up and grind some black pepper and that’s it, a pretty healthy salad with refreshing zing (thanks to the fennel) in practically no time flat. Ever have cold fried chicken in the house? You gotta throw that into a chopped salad with some corn, tomato and whatever else you’ve got in the crisper. It’ll surely rock your world.

Oh and for those chefs who have taken to serving traditional chopped salads like the Cobb Salad in non-tossed format with big sections of egg, onion, chicken and bacon, it really doesn’t work. Sure it might look pretty but the beauty of it is diminished the moment someone like me looks at that and knows they’re going to have to fumble trying to mix all the ingredients up to get be able to eat it the way it was intended to be eaten–chopped and tossed please!!!

Alas, I am far from alone in my love of the Chopped Salad. The Pioneer Woman has got a step by step pictorial on her making of an impromptu chopped.Chef Scott Peacock shares his approach to creating chopped salads from the dressing up.

The Chicago Tribune has a nice article on interesting chopped’s here. Since the material is interesting I thought I’d share, despite the fact that they’ve got all those ingredients segregated into separate ranks. Alas… I can just see myself making a real mess of it.

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