I love salads - probably my most favourite salad is a good old fashioned Cobb Salad. But sometimes when I get my crave on, I realize I'm missing key items like avocado and bleu cheese! Hate when that happens! So the other night I slapped together a salad using the stuff I did have in the house - this is a gooder that you could make the night before and take for lunch the next day.
Chopped Salad with Grilled Chicken, Apple, Bacon & Walnuts
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped & toasted
3 slices of bacon
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 tbsp canola oil
1 head of romaine lettuce, torn into bite size pieces
1 shallot, sliced thin
1 large apple, seeded and chopped (something sweet & firm like a Lady Alice, which is currently available)
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tbsp avocado oil
3 tbsp canola oil
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
salt & pepper
In a non-stick frying pan, heat canola oil over medium high heat. Pat chicken breasts dry with a paper towel and season with salt & pepper. Cook for about 7 minutes per side, until golden. Remove to a plate to rest for about 5 minutes.
Chop uncooked bacon and cook till crisp in a frying pan. Let rest on paper towels till you're ready to assemble your salad.
Also, while all this is coming together, toast the walnuts - be careful b/c these things can go from toast delights to a hot blackened mess in about 20 seconds - so I usually do them on a cookie sheet at 350degrees for about 5 minutes. But you do them however you want - just don't burn them!!!
What else do you need to do? Oh yeah, get the vinagrette going - whisk all of the ingredients together in a class dish until slightly emulsified. Set aside!
Now that everything is ready and chopped, start layering your salad: romain lettuce, apples, shallots, sliced chicken breast, walnuts, bacon and finally the vinagrette!