Delia

American Chef's Salad

A chef's salad is so named because it is supposed to be an innovative way of using whatever you happen to have handy to create a main-course salad. Ham, salami, chicken, turkey or any cold meat could be used for this one; similarly any kind of cheese or salad vegetable. This happens to be one of my favourite combinations, but once you get the gist of it I'm sure you'll have lots of other ideas.


Serves 6-8 as a main course

This recipe is taken from Delia's How to Cook Book Two

American Chef's Salad
Ingredients
 6 oz (175 g) lean streaky bacon
 8 oz (225 g) French garlic sausage in one piece
 4 oz (110 g) small open-cup mushrooms
 3 oz (75 g) Roquefort or other cheese
 2 ripe avocados
 1 round lettuce, outer leaves removed
 1 Cos lettuce, outer leaves removed
 2 oz (50 g) watercress, stalks removed
 2 oz (50 g) rocket, stalks removed
 4 spring onions, finely chopped
For the dressing:
 5 fl oz (150 ml) soured cream
 1 small clove garlic, peeled and crushed
 2 level tablespoons good-quality mayonnaise
 1 heaped teaspoon wholegrain mustard
 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
 1 tablespoon lemon juice
 salt and freshly milled black pepper

Method

Before you start, pre-heat the grill to its highest setting and let it heat up for at least 10 minutes. Meanwhile, combine all the dressing ingredients in a jug or bowl and whisk them together well, tasting to check the seasoning. Now place the bacon on some foil on the grill pan, and grill until it's very crispy – about 7 minutes – then remove it to drain on some kitchen paper and crumble it into small pieces.

Next slice the garlic sausage, first into ¼ inch (5 mm) slices, then cut the slices into ¼ inch (5 mm) strips. After that, wipe the mushrooms and slice them fairly thinly (but not paper-thin). Next crumble the cheese and peel and slice the avocados.

To serve the salad, tear up the lettuce leaves and place them in a large bowl with the watercress and rocket. Scatter in the bacon, sausage, mushrooms, cheese and avocado and mix well. Just before serving, add half the dressing and mix together. Add the remaining dressing and toss again so that everything gets a good coating. Finally, sprinkle over the spring onions and serve immediately. This needs lots of good rustic bread on the table.

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