Mediocre Chef’s Salad

Continuing to plow my way through the Amanda Hesser canon, tonight I attempted her Chef’s Salad. I blame the results not on her recipe but on my ingredients. And their preparation. Ok, and a little on her recipe.

Let’s see: her chef’s salad contains romaine lettuce, chicken, bacon, egg and avocado. I had fun multi-tasking–boiling the chicken, boiling the eggs, and frying the bacon:


But she has you fry the bacon on medium low heat so it never really gets crispy. She has you boil the chicken in water, so it really isn’t flavorful. And she has you place the egg for 9 minutes in simmering water, so it never really gets cooked. What’s going on here?!

My avocado was a loser too. Citronelle was closed for Easter so I went to this alternative grocery store a few blocks up on 6th Avenue and all their avocados were bright green. Meaning: they weren’t ripe. I bought the softest one I could find, which on a scale from 1 to soft was nowhere more than a 3. This avocado sucked!

So what was redeeming? The dressing. Amanda has a good dressing recipe: 2 Tbs of dijon mustard, 1 Tbs of red wine vinegar, 1 Tbs of balsamic vinegar, you whisk that together, add salt and pepper, and then drizzle in a half cup of olive oil while whisking until it emulsifies. I really liked the dressing.

The romaine lettuce didn’t feel right for this salad. Is romaine lettuce standard for a chef’s salad? It feels like it isn’t, but I’m not sure what is. Iceberg lettuce? Nah. Perhaps it is romaine.

Here’s the unimpressive result. So impressive, in fact, I’m linking to a small picture of it:


Why should your eyes have to suffer the indignity of this mediocre chef’s salad? Quick–scroll away, scroll away! Remove the image from your retinas. Stab your eyes out! This chef’s salad is the pits.

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