Chopped salads are one of my favorite treats that I indulge myself in (yes, I really do love salad).  It all started once upon a time with homemade salads of iceberg, cucumber, and a salad dressing.  This is also one of my dad’s favorite snacks, so it was something I indulged in often.

Once I moved to the DC area, I started encountering places like Chop’t and sweetgreen, and I really liked their salads.  The only things I didn’t like about them were their mysterious salad dressings and the price.  It’s a good salad, but at $10-12 a head, it wasn’t something I wanted to do on the regular.  That being said, there is a salad shop near my part-time job, and they have a reasonably priced salad that is in this style, so when I work full shifts over the weekend, it’s typically where I’ll stop for lunch if I don’t run to get sashimi from the nearby grocery store.

This is where a family heirloom comes in: my great aunt’s mincer.  I lucked out and was handed down a beautiful wooden one.  It’s also great for mincing herbs and nuts, and is just a great tool to have in the kitchen.  With this tool in hand, I grabbed the things I like about my favorite salads and came up with this delicious mediterranean salad.  If you’re feeling extra hungry, adding a hard-boiled egg and/or grilled chicken can really turn this from a meal to a feast.

1/3 head of romaine lettuce
2 C baby spinach
1 roasted red pepper, sliced
1/2 avocado
1/2 C kalamata olives


Chop romaine head into 4-5 2″ segments, and use the 3 central pieces.  The top piece is great for stuffing food into!  Add that in the bowl with half an avocado (sliced down the middle), roasted red pepper, olives, and spinach.

Chop this thing like it owes you money.  It’s a great moment to let out some stress as well as chop the salad as finely as you would like.

Move from the chopping bowl to a serving bowl, and top with dressing (if everyone is okay with the same dressing).  I top my salad with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, but it’s also delicious and somewhat creamy on its own thanks to the avocado.

This is one of my attempts to get more greens into my diet, and I think I will be working with this much more often.  There’s nothing like a fresh salad at home.

This salad never gets old for me.  This and chili are two things that I have at least once a week, almost without fail.  Come hang out with us on Facebook and twitter and let us know what your staple foods are.

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