Thursday, July 14, 2011

Everything but the Kitchen Sink Italian Salad

For better or worse, I am one of those people who can't bring herself to eat leftovers and never just tosses something together with what's hanging around in her fridge. If I'm going to cook it's definitely a premeditated process including a recipe and I'm focused on making something great. Not just something to get by. Today was an exception. There was some produce laying around the BF's apartment that was about to go to waste and there was chicken in my fridge that needed to get cooked or perish. That said, I broke my own rule and flew by the seat of my pants with this "everything but the kitchen sink" salad. 

Now the very spirit of this salad is counter-intuitive to giving a list of ingredients - as it was just a "use what you've got hanging around" experiment. However, it was good enough that I'll likely replicate it. So here's what I came up with: 
Everything but the Kitchen Sink Italian Salad
  • Chicken (I had a pound of chicken tenders)
  • Romaine (I chopped the hearts out and cut it in to bite sized pieces - I hate big huge leaves of lettuce!)
  • Tomato (I had one tomato, since I was only serving myself I diced up a handful)
  • Red onion (same deal as the tomato above - a good handful will do)
  • Green olives (a handful)
  • Pepperoncini (I had a jar of Golden Greek sliced pepperoncini in my fridge, I just scooped out a heap)
  • Low-fat shredded mozzarella cheese (a handful) 
  • Pepperoni (I had about 5 or 6 pepperonis left, so guess what? That's how many went in!)
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard (or you could use a teaspoon of ground mustard)
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt 
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning 
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • Make a double batch of dressing - separate in half
  • Use half of dressing to marinade chicken (I let it marinade for about 4 hours in the fridge), put other half in the fridge and reserve to dress salad later
  • Grill chicken (I don't have a grill so I use a grill pan on my stove top - works great)
  • Chop veggies while chicken grills 
  • Assemble salad, toss with dressing 

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