Gorgonzola Chopped Salad

The tradition of big Sunday suppers is one of my favorites. I enjoy leisurely preparing a meal as opposed to my typical 30 minute time limit before starvation ensues during the week. Some of our Sunday dinners need several hours for preparing, so it's nice to relax and slowly cook our favorite lasagna, for example. We don't always do Meatless Mondays (this salad has small, optional portions of meat in it), but we do love salads on Mondays as a quick, light, and healthy way to start the week off on the right foot. Since today is post-Oscars Monday, this Gorgonzola Chopped Salad is perfect for those who want to eat something healthy after all the dips and appetizers were consumed in celebration last night.

I'm always trying to think of different salad options other than our standard feta-oil-vinegar recipe. I thought that using a crumbled Gorgonzola cheese, creating a creamier balsamic-based dressing, and most importantly, chopping the salad would mix things up. I was right!

So this salad isn't really very photogenic...but I promise if you follow this recipe and feed it to your friends and family they will love it - Brian literally said "OMG" at the first bite! Score. He went on to proclaim this as the "best salad he's ever had" and you could "charge, like, 12 bucks for this at a restaurant." Maybe one day we will!

First, I created a creamy balsamic dressing and let that chill in the fridge while I prepared the rest of the salad.

To do that, I followed My Life as a Mrs.' recipe and whisked together grated garlic, mayo, lemon juice, dijon mustard, sugar, Morton's Nature's Seasoning, and salt (exact measurements below). Add the balsamic vinegar and whisk well. Slowly add in the olive oil while whisking.

I had seen the folks at Chop't make my salad plenty of times and watched them intently, but to do it on my own, I felt like I needed some kind of instructions. Like a lot of things I make, I modeled the "chopped" style after a post from the Pioneer Woman.

For this salad, I chose to include red onion, cucumber, carrots, and halved cherry tomatoes. I cooked some bacon to add a smoky flavor that would compliment the Gorgonzola and one pan-seared Italian seasoned chicken breast. I first cut my veggies and chicken up into a manageable size, but not too small since they're going to be chopped all together later.

Take your lettuce of choice and chop or tear it up into decent size pieces. I chose to use Romaine and Spring Mix. Throw this into a bowl with your other ingredients, big enough to mix them all together. If you have a huge stainless steel bowl and cutting board like the Pioneer Woman, feel free to throw in the lettuce at its full-size.

This is the point where you have to add the secret ingredient that should be on all salads: Lawry's Salt. I just sprinkle a little bit over the top part of the salad along with some pepper. Trust me, it makes everything better!

Pour on your desired dressing and toss until evenly coated. Spread it all out onto a cutting board. Take two knives and have some fun!

Chop it to whatever size you want, and enjoy it as you go. I love therapeutic cooking!

Creamy Balsamic Dressing
from My Life as a Mrs.

  • 4 cloves garlic, grated
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Morton's Nature's Seasoning
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • ½ cup balsamic vinegar
  • ¾ cup extra light olive oil

1. Whisk together garlic, mayo, lemon juice, dijon mustard, sugar, Nature's Seasoning, and salt in a small bowl until well combined.

2. Add the balsamic vinegar and whisk well. Slowly add in the olive oil (while whisking).

Gorgonzola Chopped Salad

  • 1 boneless skinless Italian-seasoned chicken breast, pan-seared or grilled (optional)
  • 1 heart lightly torn romaine lettuce
  • 2 handfuls spring mix
  • 2 chopped cooked bacon slices (optional)
  • ½ cup red onion, sliced
  • 10 halved cherry tomatoes
  • 1 cup cucumber, sliced and halved
  • 1 cup carrot sticks
  • 2-3 ounces crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
  • Small handful dried cranberries
  • Small handful chopped pecans or almonds
  • ½ teaspoon Lawry's Salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground pepper

1. Season chicken breast with your choice of Italian seasonings, salt, and pepper. Lightly oil a medium pan over medium heat. Add chicken breast and cook until golden brown and center is opaque. Remove chicken breast and let rest on a cutting board for 5 minutes.

2. Cook two or three strips of bacon in the same pan. Once cooled on a paper towel, break into small pieces.

3. Prepare the vegetables. Throw the vegetables, chicken, bacon, cheese and lettuce into a large bowl, preferably, a big stainless bowl with tongs. Toss with dressing and a sprinkle of Lawry's salt and pepper. Pour tossed salad onto a cutting board.

4. With two knives, quickly chop the salad so that it's chopped into smaller pieces. Transfer to a plate and enjoy.


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