April 10, 2014

Hotel Chopped Salad

I stopped liking blue cheese about ten years ago.  I've always been slightly grossed out by eggs in salads and I typically don't go for salads with corn in them even though I like corn.  And I can take or leave walnuts.  When Alan and I went on vacation to St. Martin last week, our first meal was at the beachfront C Le Restaurant at the Radisson Blu where we stayed for four sun-filled days.

For some reason, I chose their Radisson Chopped Salad which was comprised of iceberg lettuce, blue cheese, hard boiled eggs, corn, walnuts, chicken and a creamy mustard dressing along with some under ripe tomatoes.  I'm not sure why I even ordered it.  Maybe the baby blue ocean and tropical breezes lulled me into a less picky state.  Despite the salad having most of the things I don't like in salad, I frickin' enjoyed it and went back for more a few days later.  Alan had his Croque-Monsieur again too.  

The first meal I made when I got back to Brooklyn was that Radisson Chopped Salad, minus the chicken because I was too lazy to cook two forms of protein.  Here's my version of the salad which I must say is superior for its zingier (and I'll bet lower-calorie) mustard dressing, fresh romaine in place of iceberg and bright red grape tomatoes filling in for under ripe ones (which are hidden in my pictures, but I swear they're there).  You can add in a few strips of grilled chicken instead of one of the eggs or all of the eggs.


Makes 1 large or 2 small salads (I can easily eat one large one by myself)

To make the salad:

2 eggs
1 romaine heart, chopped crosswise in strips
6 walnuts, chopped (optional)
6 grape tomatoes, halved
1/3 cup corn kernels
2 ounces blue cheese (or other soft cheese), crumbled

To make the dressing:

2 tablespoons creamy dijon mustard (I used Maille brand)
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon finely minced shallot
1/8 teaspoon coarse salt
4 turns freshly cracked black pepper (or 1/8 teaspoon)
1 teaspoon olive oil

1.  Submerge the eggs in pot of water set over high heat.  Once the water starts to fizzle (almost boiling), set a timer for 12 minutes and start preparing your salad.

2.  Throw the romaine, walnuts, tomatoes, corn and cheese in a large mixing bowl.  In a small bowl, combine the mustard, lemon juice, vinegar, garlic, shallot, salt and pepper. While whisking vigorously, drizzle in the olive oil slowly until the dressing is creamy and smooth.

3.  Peel the hard boiled eggs, cut them into quarters and sprinkle them with a bit of coarse salt.  Let them cool as you toss the salad with the dressing using tongs, making sure to add the dressing slowly until everything is coated nicely, but not soggy or drowning.  You don’t have to use all the dressing.

4.  Nestle the egg pieces into the salad and drizzle each egg piece with a little dressing if you have extra.  Serve immediately and enjoy by the beach.

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