Chef's Salad

  • Total: 20 min
  • Prep: 20 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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Ingredients

1 1/2 pounds Boston, bibb or green or red leaf lettuce, washed, trimmed, and dried

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 recipe Shallot or Herb Vinaigrette, Ranch, Blue Cheese or Thousand Island Dressing, recipes follow

4 ounces imported Swiss cheese, cut into 2-inch long matchstick pieces

4 ounces baked ham, cut into 2-inch long matchstick pieces

4 ounces smoked turkey, chicken or duck breast, cut into 2-inch long matchstick pieces

4 ounces rare roast beef, cut into 1/4-inch by 2 inch matchstick pieces

2 hard-cooked eggs, shelled, cut into wedges

1 ripe Hass avocado, diced

16 vine-ripened cherry or grape tomatoes, halved

2 kirby (pickling) cucumbers, sliced

1 cup toasted croutons

Shallot Vinaigrette:

1/4 cup white wine vinegar, champagne vinegar, or aged sherry wine vinegar

2 to 3 teaspoons Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons finely minced shallots

2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Simple Vinaigrette:

1/4 cup white, red or aged sherry vinegar

2 to 3 teaspoons Dijon mustard

1 small clove garlic, minced

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Ranch Dressing:

2 cloves garlic

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup prepared or homemade mayonnaise

1/4 to 1/3 cup buttermilk

2 tablespoons minced flat-leaf parsley leaves

2 tablespoons minced fresh chives

1 scallion, trimmed and thinly sliced

1 teaspoon white wine vinegar

Freshly ground black pepper

Blue Cheese Dressing:

1 cup mayonnaise

1/2 cup crumbled Maytag or other blue cheese (about 3 ounces), divided

1/2 cup half and half

2 tablespoons sour cream

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Thousand Island Dressing:

1/2 clove garlic, minced

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt plus more to taste

3/4 cup prepared or homemade mayonnaise

1/4 cup bottled chili sauce

2 tablespoons ketchup

1 1/2 tablespoons minced onion

2 teaspoons sweet pickle relish

1/2 hard-cooked large egg, pushed through a sieve or finely chopped

Freshly ground black pepper

Directions

  1. Tear the lettuce into bite-sized pieces and put into a large mixing bowl. Season with salt and pepper and toss with 1/2 cup of the dressing. Divide the lettuce among 4 large individual serving bowls. Arrange the cheese, meats, eggs, and avocado, like the spokes of a wheel, on top of each salad. Scatter the tomatoes, cucumbers and croutons on top. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve and pass the remaining dressing at the table.

Shallot Vinaigrette:

  1. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the vinegar, mustard, salt, and pepper to taste. Stir in the shallots. Gradually whisk in the oil to make a smooth dressing. Use immediately or store covered, in the refrigerator, for up to a week.

Simple Vinaigrette:

  1. Set a medium bowl on a kitchen towel shaped like an "O" (this helps keep the bowl steady while whisking). Whisk together the vinegar, mustard, garlic, 1 1/4 teaspoons salt and a few grinds of pepper in the bowl. Slowly drizzle in the oil while whisking continuously until the mixture is combined and blended well. Use right away, or refrigerate in a sealed container for up to 3 days. For variety, add your favorite dried or chopped fresh herbs. 

Ranch Dressing:

  1. Mash the garlic and salt to a paste with the side of a chef's knife. In a medium bowl, whisk together the garlic, mayonnaise, 1/4 cup buttermilk, parsley, chives, scallion, vinegar and pepper to taste. If the sauce is very thick, thin the dressing with a couple tablespoons more of the buttermilk. Use immediately or store covered, in the refrigerator, for up to 3 days.

Blue Cheese Dressing:

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, 1/4 cup blue cheese, half and half, sour cream, lemon juice, Worcestershire, and salt, until smooth. Gently stir in the remaining 1/4 cup blue cheese and season with pepper to taste. Use now or store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Thousand Island Dressing:

  1. Make a paste with the garlic and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt by crushing them with the side of a chef's knife. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the garlic, mayonnaise, chili sauce, ketchup, onion, relish and egg until combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Use now or store covered in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

Chef's Salad

Chef's Salad