to chop or not to chop

Jewels’ version - Jill's version
Jewels Says  •  The head chef in the catering kitchen where I first worked used to demonstrate cutting an onion for me and then give me a huge sack of onions (so heavy I could not lift it alone) and tell me to get started. When I was more than half way through the bag – sometimes hours later – he would check on my work and compare my pieces to his example. If they were not precisely the same size, he would throw a huge “chef tantrum,” toss everything I’d chopped into the garbage and holler for someone to bring me another sack of onions so I could begin again. Despite that experience, I now find chopping so calming and therapeutic that I look forward to working at my cutting board. Once you feel truly confident about doing something you can begin to enjoy it. With a sharp knife and a little practice, I hope you will enjoy chopping this salad up, too!

serves 4-6
2 heads curly red leaf lettuce
4 small persian cucumbers (or one english cucumber)
4 roma or other small ripe tomatoes
¼ red onion
1 bunch asparagus, blanched
½ cup good quality parmesan or pecorino romano cheese, shaved
handful of fresh parsley

  1. Wash lettuce and parsley. Chop finely.
  2. Peel, seed and finely dice cucumbers.
  3. Seed tomatoes and dice them along with the onions.
  4. Blanch asparagus in boiling water for one minute then place in a bowl of ice water until completely cool. Dry completely and finely dice.
  5. Toss together in a large bowl with cheese and dressing of your choice.  

Try this with *Pomegranate Vinaigrette, *Grilled Tomato Vinaigrette, or just a few glugs of good quality extra virgin olive oil and a couple of splashes of vinegar. (*see cookbook, The Family Chef)

to chop or not to chop salad   Jewels’ version - Jill's versionJill’s versionJewels’ version - Jill's version

serves 4-6
using the same ingredients as Jewels’ version.
Salad is really so easy to make. Be sure to use super-fresh ingredients to make the simplest salad simply delicious!

  1. Wash lettuce and tear into large pieces.
  2. Peel cucumber and slice into rounds.
  3. Cut tomato in large chunky pieces.
  4. Cut red onion into thin strips.
  5. Cut asparagus in half. Blanch in boiling water for one minute then place in a bowl of ice water to cool. Dry completely.
  6. Tear parsley into pieces.

Toss it all together in a large salad bowl with cheese and dressing of your choice. Fast, easy, fresh and yummy!

Try this with *Pomegranate Vinaigrette, *Grilled Tomato Vinaigrette, or just a few glugs of good quality extra virgin olive oil and a couple of splashes of vinegar. (*see cookbook, The Family Chef)