Like many of you (some of you?) I try to organize my life a little with meal planning, so that I know what we’re planning to make every night and can, hopefully, do one main shopping trip each week. With the help of Pinterest, deciding on meals isn’t usually difficult. Choosing side dishes, though, is another story- for some reason side dish options are either not readily apparent to me, or don’t appeal at all, or don’t meet the needs of my household (our needs our usually vegetables, and the hard part is finding veggies that will satisfy everyone…so).
Welp, friends, what has solved all of my problems in the chopped salad. Chopped salad is somehow different than regular salad, even while seeming the exact same. I suspect the difference is in the lettuce- a) that there’s a lower lettuce to not-lettuce ratio and b) that it’s diced, and not in those unwieldy leaves. This summer I’ve grown particularly fond of this chopped salad with a bright lime vinaigrette, made a tiny bit spicy with some smoke chipotle powder. As a side dish, it’s perfect for Taco Tuesdays (similar flavor profile), but it also makes a great main with the addition of some black beans or chopped chicken. Leave out or sub what you don’t like- this salad if full of options!
Summer Chopped Salad with Honey Lime Vinaigrette
– 1 small head lettuce
– ½ English cucumber
– 1 colored pepper
– 1 tomato
– ¼ red onion
– 2 ears corn
– 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
– 1 lime
– 1 tbsp honey
– ¼ cup olive oil
– ¼ tsp smoke chipotle powder (or cumin, or chili powder, or some red pepper flakes)
Prepare veggies: rinse everything. Then, chop lettuce into about 1-inch pieces. Halve the cucumber lengthwise, remove the seeds with a spoon, and chop into small cubes; dice the tomato and pepper into similar sizes. Finely dice the red onion. Spray the ears of corn and grill, either on a grill, over the flame on your gas stove, or under a broiler; let them cool, then cut the corn from cobs. Put all of these ingredients into a medium sized bowl and toss.
Prepare dressing: it’s so easy to make your own vinaigrette! Clean out an old jelly jar, or use a sealable Tupperware. Add the mustard, juice of one lime, honey, olive oil, chipotle powder and generous pinch of salt. Seal the container, and shake vigorously. Remove the lid, taste, and season again.
Prepare the salad: Salt and pepper your veggies. (If you’re looking for a heartier salad, toss in a can of drained and rinsed black beans, or a chopped chicken breast.) Then, dress with about half of the dressing and toss. IF you need more dressing, use more dressing. If you don’t….don’t. Enjoy!