March is National Nutrition Month, an annual campaign that focuses on the value of making informed food choices and developing healthy eating habits. With daylight saving time and the spring equinox now behind us, our appetites naturally begin to shift along with the season. We begin to crave lighter, fresher foods than the heavier fare we relied on to keep us warm and cozy throughout the cold winter. In springtime, our taste turns to crisper, greener things.
Chopped salads are quite on trend at the moment, with countless variations popping up all over the place, from restaurant menus to food blogs. A chopped salad is one in which all the ingredients are cut into small, fairly uniform pieces, often with a base of chopped greens such as lettuce, spinach, or kale. An American Cobb is a traditional example of a chopped salad, but the options are truly endless.
My take on chopped salad makes a nostalgic nod to the classic bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich, aka the BLT. As I strongly believe that slices of ripe avocado make just about anything better, especially a BLT sandwich, I've added that to the salad as well. Then, I finished it with some salty feta cheese. For dressing, perhaps try a lightened-up ranch dressing made with Greek yogurt to mimic the mayonnaise on a BLT sandwich. Or go with my personal favorite: an acidic and slightly sweet lime vinaigrette to offset the saltiness of the bacon and feta cheese.
BLT chopped salad
4 cups crisp green lettuce, like romaine or green-leaf, chopped
6 slices bacon, crisp-cooked and chopped
1 cup grape tomatoes, sliced in half
1 avocado, chopped
¼ cup crumbled feta cheese
Divide the chopped lettuce into two serving bowls. Top each salad with half the bacon, tomatoes, avocados and cheese.
Drizzle with lime vinaigrette (below) or dressing of your choice.
Serve promptly. Serves two.
For the lime vinaigrette:
¼ cup olive oil
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
zest of 1 lime
2 teaspoons sugar, or to taste
salt and pepper to taste
In a bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, lime juice, zest, sugar, salt and pepper until well-combined and sugar is dissolved.
Drizzle over the salad just before serving.
Recipe adapted from How Sweet Eats.
Maya Evoy lives in Nikiski and blogs about food at alaskafromscratch.com.
Alaska From Scratch