Chef's Salad with a Basic Vinaigrette

Kathy D


This classic chef's salad comes from Cook's Illustrated. They suggest asking for thick cuts (about 1/4 inch thick) of the deli meats, so you can create matchsticks for the salad. They also say to get good quality ham, not the boiled kind, so you'll get more flavor.

★★★★★ 1 vote
40 Min
15 Min
Stove Top


4 large
1/2 c
basic vinaigrette (**see ingredients and instructions included below)
1 Tbsp
red or white wine vinegar
1 large
head of romaine lettuce, torn into bit-sized pieces (10 cups)
1 small
cucumber, peeled and sliced thin
1 pt
cherry tomatoes, halved
radishes, trimmed and sliced thin
8 oz
thick-sliced deli ham, cut into matchsticks
8 oz
thick-sliced deli turkey, cut into matchsticks
8 oz
sharp cheddar cheese, cut into matchsticks
2 c
garlic croutons - optional


3 Tbsp
red or white wine vinegar
shallot, peeled
1 small
garilc clove, peeled
2 tsp
dijon mustard
2 tsp
fresh thyme
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3/4 c
olive oil, extra virgin


1Prepare the vinaigrette and prep the salad components shile the eggs cook and chill.
2Place the eggs in a medium saucepan and cover with water so it is 1 inch above the eggs. Bring the water to boil over high heat. As soon as the water boils, remove pan from heat, cover and let sit for 10 minutes. Transfer egggs to an ice water bath, and chill for 5 minutes. Then peel and quarter.
*While eggs cook, make vinaigrette*
3Basic Vinaigrette:
Process all vinaigrette ingredients, except the olive oil, in a blender until the shallot and garlic are finely chopped, approx. 15 seconds. With blender running, slowly add oil and continue to process until the dressing is smooth and emulsified, approx. 15 seconds.
4Whisk the vinaigrette with the extra vinegar, then toss with lettuce, cucumber, and radishes. Divide the salad among individual plates. Arrange ham, turkey, and cheddar over the salads, and garnish with eggs and optional croutons. Enjoy!

About this Recipe

Course/Dish: Salads
Main Ingredient: Vegetable
Regional Style: American