Friday, August 30, 2013

GGFF: California Club Chopped Salad


I have never been able to understand why people wave the white flag on summer as soon as Labor Day rolls around. We have until September 21st! Don't give up so easily! I'm sure it's because once school is back in session and Target starts rolling our Halloween candy in August, combined with September triggering "fall" in our heads, we sort of forget that we have 2/3 of the month to wrap up the loose ends and really squeeze the most out of summer.

Don't get me wrong, I really, really love Autumn, but I get irrationally annoyed when I see, "Goodbye, Summer!" in my FB feed on August 15th. It's not the end! None of this goodbye crap. Quit extending the cold weather season--it's already long enough. Don't give it a single day more than it deserves.

The one positive to the change of seasons is that we have more reasons to go to Wildfire. Between Graham's graduation, our anniversary, my mom's birthday, and "just because", we seem to have a few more reasons to visit Wildfire during the fall and early winter. One of my favorite restaurants/steak houses, Wildfire makes a mean....chopped salad. When I want steak, I want steak, but it's hard to resist the WF chopped salad, and sometimes (okay, lots of times) I get a craving for it at home. While my first instinct is to generally run out and get me some salad, that can get 'spensive, guys. Instead, I prefer to make my own. In this instance, it's not a "I like making my own food" or "I get to control the ingredients and HFCS in my meal." This is a "I want salad in my belly right now" kind of meal. If you're fighting the power like I am, take this opportunity to use some seasonal produce (our garden is still overflowing with tomatoes. It's glorious!) and take a more relaxed approach to dinner time. A main-dish salad? Definitely my idea of chill.

California Club Chopped Salad
(As seen on A Taste of Home Cooking, originally from Lauren's Latest)

Salad:
2 large romaine lettuce hearts, washed and sliced thin
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
6 slices cooked bacon, crumbled*
1 cooked chicken breast, diced**
1/4-1/2 c. blue cheese crumbles
1 ripe avocado, diced
1 c. black beans, rinsed and drained
1 c. corn, fresh or frozen

Dressing:
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 T. lemon juice (1-2 lemons, depending on how juicy they are)
2/3 c. mayonaise
Salt and pepper, to taste


Prep all salad ingredients if not previously prepped. Mix together in a large bowl.

For dressing, whisk all ingredients in a small bowl. Check for seasoning and add more salt and pepper if necessary. Toss dressing with salad and serve immediately.

*Do not use bacon bits. I forbid it.
**I prefer a baked or roasted chicken breast in this salad vs. poached. Also, if you want to make this vegetarian, omit the chicken and bacon. Bam.

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