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  • Writer's pictureSusie Csorsz Brown

Chopped Salad, your way

One thing I have learned about getting kids to eat veggies: if they help put it together, they are much more likely to eat it. Eat it and enjoy it.

Another thing: it's fun to play with your food.

So let's do a mash-up of those two lessons and make a salad that suits a king and fills the belly. Everyone gets to pick their own adventure (read: select their salad ingredients). The ingredients listed below are purely suggestions. Maybe you don't like tuna, or you have different cheeses on hand. Maybe you love pepperoncini but can't stand olives. You do you, and as long as you chop it all up, it will be tasty. Promise.

I do this one by one for each diner; you can definitely make one big family-sized salad, if you'd rather.

This is more of a suggestion than a set recipe. Add what you like, skip what you don't. You can use the same cutting/mixing area for all diners without washing, if you want.

Chopped Salad, your way



Romaine or other crunchy and crisp salad green

Grated carrots

Slices of cucumber





Sun-dried tomatoes

Chickpeas (or other favorite beans)

Oil-packed tuna

feta cheese

Boiled eggs

pickles or cornichons

roasted peppers

toasted walnuts or almonds

salamis or other cured meats

Dressing options

Dijon mustard

Favorite vinegar (we prefer sherry or red wine vinegar)

tiny scoop mayo (if you want it creamier)

Tiny squirt anchovy paste

Salt and fresh ground pepper


Have a large pasta bowl or plate nearby for your finished salad. Set aside.

On a large cutting board (my preference is to use a bendable plastic cutting board, as it makes it a lot easier to scoop the salad into a bowl once chopped), assemble ingredients you desire. Start with a handful of lettuce, top with your favorite veggies, legumes, cheese and nuts. Drizzle with about 1 Tablespoon of olive oil and about the same of your choice of vinegar (and mayo if you want a bit of creaminess). Add a small dollop of mustard. You can add a small squirt of anchovy paste if you want an extra bit of umami (just a bit; promise it won't be fishy!). Top with a small pinch of salt and pepper.

With a large knife, holding the point in one general spot, start chopping. You can rotate the cutting board to chop from a different direction. You might have to use the blade of the knife to carefully re-pile the ingredients. Keep chopping until the ingredients seem well mixed and you like the size of the veggies and salad bits. Taste a small bit; add salt and pepper if needed, or adjust any other flavoring. If you add anything more at this point, rechop a bit to mix.

Carefully pick up the cutting board, make a chute and slide the salad into your waiting bowl.

Grab your fork and dig in! Enjoy!

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