Kid-Friendly Chef Salad

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“Sara Moulton's kid friendly chef salad is really a charming way to get your child involved and possibly ready to eat a salad.”

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Begin by making the toppings for this chef’s salad.
  2. For hard-boiled eggs, place two to four eggs in a heavy saucepan and cover with cold water.
  3. Boil for 1 minute, then turn off the heat.
  4. Cover and let sit for 15 minutes in the hot water.
  5. Next, drain the hot water and run cold water over the eggs.
  6. Roll each egg gently to crack the shells, then peel.
  7. Rinse well, then slice into 4 wedges.
  8. TIP: For easy peeling, work under a running tap or in a bowl of water.
  9. For garlic croutons, cut 2 slices of whole wheat bread into 16 squares each.
  10. In a small microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter on high (about 40 seconds).
  11. Stir in 1/4 teaspoon of the garlic powder and toss in the bread cubes.
  12. Arrange the cubes in a single layer on a baking sheet or toaster oven tray.
  13. Broil for 1 to 2 minutes, checking frequently to prevent burning.
  14. Turn and brown the other side.
  15. Transfer to a paper towel to drain and cool.
  16. TIP: For fun, cut the bread into shapes using miniature cookie cutters.
  17. For ranch-style dressing, whisk the sour cream, milk, and vinegar in a small mixing bowl.
  18. Add 1/2 teaspoon of the garlic powder along with the parsley, dill, and a pinch of salt and pepper.
  19. Chill for at least 30 minutes while preparing the remaining salad ingredients.
  20. TIP: Ask your child to taste the dressing to see if it needs more salt or pepper.
  21. Explain that salt helps make the flavor sharper and pepper gives it a bite.
  22. Whenever a recipe says"salt and pepper to taste," the chef should use her judgement about how much to add.
  23. To prepare the lettuce, cut 1 and 1/2 inches off the end of the romaine head and discard.
  24. Break the leaves off and wash in cold water.
  25. Place in a salad spinner and spin until dry (or pat dry with paper towels).
  26. Break the leaves into bite-size pieces and place in a large salad bowl.
  27. TIP: Explain to your kids where the first salad came from.
  28. Nearly 4,000 years ago, Romans put salt on lettuce and called the new dish herba salata, or salted greens.
  29. Now the chef is ready to prepare the vegetables.
  30. Older kids can peel and grate the carrot; wash, peel, and slice the cucumber; and wash and cut the pepper into strips with a knife or into shapes with a mini cookie cutter.
  31. Wash the tomatoes and remove the stems.
  32. Place the ham or chicken, cheese, croutons, and hard-boiled eggs in bowls and serve along with a pitcher of the dressing.
  33. TIP: For a fun summer dinner, set up all the ingredients salad-bar style on a picnic table.
  34. Next, hand everyone a plate and let them assemble their own salad.
  35. Parents might make a classic chef salad, and kids could try a face with tomato eyes and grated carrot hair.
  36. Pour the dressing over the salad or serve on the side for dipping.

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