Chopped salads are incredibly simple to make, you have to give them a go. If nothing else, they can offer you some chopping practice, so why not make something tasty while you’re practicing your knife skills? Anyone can make these salads, just make sure you use a good, sharp chef’s knife and your biggest chopping board – and watch your fingers!
JAMIE'S TOP TIP
- What I want to show you here is that the sky’s the limit when it comes to the different ingredients you can add to a chopped salad – you can use whatever’s available.
- The only rule I would give you is to always include a couple of handfuls of crunchy lettuce to give your salad a really good texture. Try out different things, and don’t feel obliged to use the same old stuff all the time. Bell peppers, tomatoes, herb sprigs, a peeled and pitted avocado . . . you can get any or all of these into a chopped salad.
- Basil works well in this salad, but so do lots of other soft fresh herbs, such as chives, chervil, or mint.
- For a bit of extra crunch, simply toast some nuts in a warm pan, but watch them as once they start to go brown they can burn very quickly.
- Get yourself a big chopping board and a large sharp knife. It’s best to start by chopping the harder, crunchier veggies first, so trim and chop your scallions and slice your cucumber. Slice your basil. Bring it all into the center of the board, and continue chopping and mixing together.
- Add the lettuce leaves, and cress or alfalfa to the board. When everything is well chopped, you’ll have a big mound of salad on the board.
- Make a well in the middle and drizzle in the extra virgin olive oil and red wine vinegar. Add the mustard and the salt and pepper. Sprinkle with nuts. Mix up so everything gets well coated and serve on the board or in a bowl.
Serving suggestions: This makes a nice addition to any main dish such as Barbecued chicken, Spaghetti and meatballs or Old school pork chops with apples.
Tips from the dietitian:
- It’s always a good idea to balance your plate with a green salad like this one.
- Make this salad into a complete meal by adding a lean protein, such as a grilled skinless chicken breast, canned tuna or a salmon fillet, along with a whole grain roll.
- Prepare extra chopped greens so you can take a salad to work for lunch the next day. As long as you don’t dress it until you’re ready to eat, the salad will taste delicious and you’ll save yourself some work.
Food safety: It’s good to wash your lettuce thoroughly to get rid of any dirt or bugs before spinning, ready for dressing and eating.
½ a cucumber
A handful of fresh basil leaves
½ head Boston or small red leaf lettuce
½ heart of romaine
½ cup sprouted cress or alfalfa 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar ½ teaspoon Dijon or English mustard 1/8 teaspoon sea salt freshly ground black pepper
½ cup chopped toasted walnuts or your favorite nuts, optional
Large cutting board
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