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Chopped Salad

I didn’t have my first chopped salad until my senior year of college, when my now-husband took me to my first fine French dining experience. It was also the first time I had a really good bottle of wine, but that story is for another time. This chopped salad may even be what sparked my original interest in re-creating something I had while dining out. Still one of my favorites salads to make, it will take a little wrist action. I prefer this creamy, lemony vinaigrette that pairs well with the blue cheese, but you can choose the Blue Cheese Dressing (below) or any other in the last chapter if you like. The key to this salad is chopping everything so fine that you could eat it with a spoon. – Darlene Schrijver 


  • 3 Perfect Boiled Eggs (page 257)
  • 1⁄3 cup (80 ml) Chopped Bacon (page 258)
  • Ice water
  • 1⁄3 cup (80 ml) finely chopped red onion (1⁄4- to 1⁄2-inch/6-mm to 1.3-cm pieces)
  • 11⁄2 cups (360 ml) finely chopped Roma or beefsteak tomatoes (1⁄4- to 1⁄2-inch/6-mm to 1.3-cm pieces)


  • 1⁄4 cup (60 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons (45 ml) crème fraîche or heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) finely chopped fresh flat- leaf parsley
  • 2 teaspoons (10 ml) fresh lemon juice (remember to zest first)
  • 2 teaspoons (10 ml) Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons (10 ml) honey
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon (1.5 ml) lightly packed grated lemon zest
  • Flaky sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper


  • 6 cups (1,400 ml) finely chopped romaine lettuce (1⁄4- to 1⁄2-inch/6-mm to 1.3-cm pieces)
  • 1 1⁄2 cups (360 ml) finely chopped seeded Persian or English cucumber (1⁄4- to 1⁄2-inch/6-mm to 1.3-cm pieces)
  • 1 cup (240 ml) finely chopped avocado (1⁄4- to 1⁄2-inch/6-mm to 1.3-cm pieces)
  • 1⁄3 cup (80 ml) finely crumbled Roquefort, Gorgonzola, or other blue cheese (1⁄4- to 1⁄2-inch/6-mm to 1.3-cm pieces)


Prepare the eggs and when they’re cool enough to handle, finely chop them into 1⁄4- to 1⁄2-inch (6-mm to 1.3-cm) pieces. Prepare the bacon and let it drain.

Fill a 500-ml beaker or a small glass bowl halfway with ice water and add the onion. Soak for 10 minutes, then drain and pat the onion dry. Meanwhile, place the tomatoes in a colander and gently press down with a spoon to drain off excess liquid.


In a large salad bowl, combine the oil, crème fraîche, vinegar, parsley, lemon juice, mustard, honey, and lemon zest and season with salt and pepper. Whisk until well combined, then taste and adjust the seasoning if needed.


In the bowl with the dressing, combine the lettuce, cucumber, avocado, cheese, onion, tomato, eggs, and bacon. Toss until all the ingredients are evenly combined and coated with dressing and serve.


I’m having it with an Haut-Médoc or mineral water.

Blue Cheese Dressing

Not only is this dressing perfect for salads, it is my go-to for wings and as a crudité dip. Blue cheese is made with Penicillium cultures, giving it spots or veins of greenish blue. Roquefort or Gorgonzola in the fridge? Both are blue cheeses: Roquefort is a French sheep’s milk cheese and Gorgonzola is Italian made from cow’s milk. I usually use Point Reyes Blue, a local cow’s milk blue. You can blend all the cheese in the dressing, but I prefer the rich, salty, sharp hit of the crumbled chunks, so I blend half with the dressing and add the rest at the end.


  • Ice water
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) very finely diced shallot
  • 1 coddled egg yolk


  • 2 teaspoons (10 ml) fresh lemon juice (remember to zest first)
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) water
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) flaky sea salt
  • 3⁄4 cup (175 ml) avocado oil
  • 1 cup (240 ml) crumbled blue cheese (see page 43)
  • 1⁄2 cup (120 ml) buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) lightly packed grated lemon zest
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) freshly cracked black pepper


Fill a 250-ml beaker or a small glass bowl halfway with ice water and add the shallot. Soak for 10 minutes, then drain and pat the shallot dry. Prepare the coddled egg and separate the yolk.


In a small blender, food processor, or large beaker (if using an immersion blender), combine the lemon juice, mustard, water, and 1⁄4 teaspoon (1.5 ml) of the salt. Drop in the cod- dled egg yolk and begin blending. Slowly pour in the oil while blending to make mayo.

Once the mixture is emulsified, add the shallot, half the cheese, the buttermilk, parsley, zest, pepper, and remaining 1⁄4 teaspoon (1.5 ml) salt. Run the mixer for a few more seconds, then stir in the rest of the cheese. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

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