The chef salad is said to have originated at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in the 1940s. Although numerous versions of this salad are mentioned in cookery books it is generally considered to be a mixture of lettuce, cheese, cold meats, boiled eggs with a piquant dressing.
Sometimes recipes feature other salad vegetables that can be added for example radish, tomatoes, avocados and cucumber. For the cold meats portion, a mixture of ham, cooked chicken and cooked beef is recommended. Authentic recipes mention using smoked ox tongue.
For this salad to be successful, you should try to avoid throwing the kitchen sink at it, instead choose 5 – 7 main ingredients plus the dressing. Always add lettuce, hard-boiled eggs and cooked meats though.
Chef Salad Recipe
Ingredients makes 4 portions
For the dressing
45g anchovy fillets (tinned)
1 large clove garlic roughly chopped
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
3 tbsp double cream or homemade mayonnaise.
Salt and black pepper to taste.
1 large romaine lettuce ripped into bite-sized pieces
4 ripe tomatoes cut into large dice seeds removed.
1 avocado, sliced (add just before the dressing to prevent browning.
2″ cucumber peeled and diced
100g cheddar cheese cut into julienne slices 2″ x 1/4″
100g ham cut into julienne slices 2″ x 1/4″
4 boiled eggs cut into quarters
To make the dressing, into a blender put the garlic, anchovy fillets, Dijon mustard, olive oil, lemon juice and double cream (or mayonnaise). Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Blend this mixture until nice and smooth.
Into a mixing bowl place the lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes, avocado, ham and cheese, mix together gently but thoroughly.
Add the dressing and mix well.
Serve the chef salad with boiled egg quarters scattered over the top.