Sometimes what I'm looking for is a huge trough of salad filled with chopped veggies and proteins. Something reminiscent of a salad from a lunch place in NYC. Something that costs you $15. But I generally don't buy my food at these places for fear of contracting a food borne illness and having explosive diarrhea on the Q train on my way home from work. (PS I don't work in the city) But remember that yummy chopped romaine with all those fun vegetable choices? For example - baby corn. Is that really a vegetable? And remember how you used to stand there calculating how many toppings you had left for the price listed?? Well this is based off that concept but slightly less stressful and less bacteria.
This salad was born out of a need to bring something light, clean and filling to the beach for lunch. (Aka not calling for 3 pies of pizza) While I admit the kids did not eat this, I didn't care at all (I do love them. I swear.) They ate sandwiches (whatever) and the adults had this salad. (It’s my summer too.)
My inspiration was a boring cut up salad from the day before that nobody touched. It had romaine, cucumber and orange peppers. Blah. I took the whole thing and chopped it small. Then I added chickpeas, a sliced hard boiled egg, a can of Italian tuna, baby tomatoes, and crushed Mary’s Gone Crackers. I dressed it with balsamic, olive oil, salt and pepper. Voila!
I’m going to share a secret here though: You can even use a pre washed and chopped lettuce bag from the grocery. While it’s not my style, (no judgement, ok maybe a little) this is the perfect recipe for such an item. Take the bag of pre chopped romaine and just chop it a little more. Also, any vegetables will do in this salad. Feel free to swap out anything you want. Put carrots, celery even beans or nuts.
Put your lettuce, cucumbers, peppers, chickpeas, tomatoes, egg, tuna and crackers in a bowl. Drizzle your balsamic and oil, and sprinkle with your salt and pepper. Take a large spoon and working slowly, thoroughly mix the salad well.
The vegetables can be chopped the day before and stored together. But the egg, tuna, and crackers should be stored separately in zippered bags. Mix ingredients together and dress right before serving. The dressed salad will last only a few hours, because the crackers get soggy.
Perfect Hard-boiled Eggs
1 quart cold water
In a small pot place the eggs and water over medium flame. Once it boils, count ten minutes exactly. Drain the hot water and run the eggs under really cold running water for 5 minutes. Or alternatively, place the eggs in an ice bath for the same amount of time. Peel the eggs immediately and store in a container lined with paper towel for up to 2 days.