Chef's Salad with Chipotle Ranch Dressing
- 6 cups arugula
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced
- 2 mini cucumbers, sliced
- 1 avocado, sliced
- 1/2 cute shredded cheese (Red Leicester)
- 1 cup ham, cut small
- 2/3 cups walnut halved, roasted
- 3 eggs, soft-boiled
- 4 Tbsps sour cream
- 2 Tbsps mayonnaise
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp dill
- 1 clove garlic, shredded
- 1 tsp chipotle chilli oil (Huipi Chil Mango Chipotle)
- 1/4 lemon, juiced
Mix together the sour cream, mayonnaise, salt, dill, garlic, chilli oil and lemon juice. Arrange the other ingredients on a plate. Drizzle with the dressing. Serve.
And now for the details…
Yep, it’s another fairly simple recipe I’m putting forward today. But I couldn’t help it; we had so much ham leftover after our New Years Eve party that I needed to find a number of uses for it. This recipe actually only put a small dent in the leftovers. I am making this ham and bean soup tonight in an effort to use up even more. And we still have some left. Seriously. That’s too many hams. Although it does remind me of Robert Kelly’s (ew, no, not THAT Robert Kelly, I’m talking comedian Robert Kelly) skit about his love of food… “ham, just give me ham” (the whole thing is hilarious, but skip ahead to 4:40 for the quote).
I got a bit liberal with the different ingredients in this salad. Feel free to mix and match the toppings depending on what you have on hand. I did really enjoy the texture combination I had here, but it’s not prescriptive. Typical chef’s salad has some combination of meat, cheese, egg and veggie assortment.
Start with roasting the walnuts so you have them mostly cooled and ready for the last step. Place the walnuts on a small pan and spread them out so they are in a single layer. Place in a 350ºF/175ºC oven for 5-8 minutes until they smell toasty. Let them sit to cool once done.
Next up: the dressing. I made a chipotle ranch-style dressing. Again… because, well, these were the ingredients I happened to have on hand. A good ol’ “let’s clean out the refrigerator” kind of recipe.
Mix together the sour cream, mayonnaise, salt, dill, garlic, lemon juice, and chilli oil. I used Huipi Chil mango-chipotle salsa for my chilli flavour, but if you want the same flavour and don’t have a chipotle chilli oil available, use 1/2 tsp of dried chipotle powder instead. If you prefer a less viscous dressing, you could use buttermilk instead of sour cream.
Next, we need to cook the eggs. I prefer a soft boiled egg, but the traditional chefs salad seems to be a hard boiled egg. Go with you preference. I went into detail on how to do a soft boiled egg in my Rainbow Vegetable Bowl recipe, but long story short: boil water, add eggs, simmer 6-7 minutes, ice bath, peel.
Finally, we assemble the salad. Arrange the rest of the ingredients on a large plate, with the arugula serving as your base.
Drizzle the dressing over the salad, and gently crumble the walnuts with your hands over the salad. The walnuts are serving as the crunch for this salad, eliminating the need for croutons, while giving us an added bite and richness.
Serve immediately and enjoy!