Chop Salad with Corn, Sugar Snap Peas, and Bacon
By Kath Dedon
Because this Chop Salad is so full of vegetables, it was perfect with the Chicken Mole. It took a bit of time to do all of the slicing and dicing, but since the Baklava had been made earlier in the day and the chicken was cooking in the slow cooker it was easy to give my full attention to the salad.
This Chop Salad with Corn, Snap Peas, and Bacon is very colorful and would be a perfect salad to take to a summer potluck party. Everything can be prepared ahead of time; add the lettuce and toss with the dressing just before serving.
I followed Tom’s recipe pretty closely, although I did omit the basil leaves (Bob’s not crazy about basil) and the Parmesan cheese. The cheese probably would have been good but I wanted the vegetables to be the stars with the bacon playing a major supporting role.
Tom suggests being creative with it. You could use diced salami instead of the bacon, or diced Gouda instead of the Parmesan. You could add diced celery or garbanzo beans. His only rule is that everything should be diced into small pieces and there should be more vegetables than lettuce.
Update 4/24/16: Last night I successfully made this using frozen “petite white corn”. There’s no need to thaw it before using it.
Chop Salad with Corn, Snap Peas, and Bacon
Adapted from a Tom Douglas recipe in Tom’s Big Dinners
½ pound bacon (about 5 slices of thick bacon)
6 ounces sugar snap peas (1½ cups), strings removed, cut in half on a diagonal
1½ cups fresh corn kernels (about 2 ears)
1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded, and cut into ¼-inch dice
1 medium carrot, peeled and grated
½ medium red bell pepper, cut into ¼-inch dice
½ bunch radishes, thinly sliced (about ½ cup)
½ bunch green onions, thinly sliced (about ¾ cup)
½ pint cherry tomatoes, cut in half
½ head romaine lettuce (about 4 cups chopped)
1 cup fresh basil leaves (about 1 ounce), cut into thin strips (optional, I didn’t use)
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (optional, I didn’t use)
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons minced garlic (about 2 cloves)
½ cup olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1. Cook the bacon in a skillet over medium-low heat. Drain on paper towels and chop into small pieces.
2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and have a bowl of ice water ready. When the water’s boiling, add a bit of salt and the sugar snap peas and corn. Cook for 1 minute, then drain and put the peas and corn in the ice water for a few minutes. Drain the peas and corn and set aside. (I spread them out on a paper towel-lined baking sheet to help them dry out.)
3. Make the vinaigrette. Put the vinegar, lemon juice, mustard and garlic in a bowl. Whisk together while slowly pouring in the olive oil so it emulsifies. (Or do as I did and shake it all up in a Blender Bottle if you have one.) Season to taste with salt and pepper.
4. When ready to serve, chop the lettuce and put it in a bowl. Add the peas, corn, cucumber, carrot, red pepper, radishes, green onions, tomatoes, and basil if using. Toss with the vinaigrette. If using cheese, then toss in the cheese. Put the salad in a serving bowl and sprinkle the bacon over the top.