My main objection to most salads that pretend to be entrees is that they aren’t substantial enough. I don’t care how much lettuce (or what kind) you have, it’s going to burn up quickly in your system and you’re going to be looking at your watch saying “It’s HOW LONG until dinner?” There is no such problem with this salad. It’s hearty enough for any ranch hands you might have roaming around.
- Smoked turkey or chicken (or unsmoked — your choice), cut into chunks or shredded
- Avocado, chunked or sliced
- Bacon, cooked and chopped
- Cherry tomatoes, cut in half
- Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
- Cheddar cheese, shredded
- Green onions, sliced thin, or red onion, diced
- Hard-boiled eggs, diced, riced, or sliced
- Lettuce, any kind (but you do know iceberg has virtually no nutritional value, don’t you?)
- 1 cup ranch dressing
- 1/4 cup barbecue sauce of your choice (try a spicy one, if you like spicy!)
Are you going to put this entire amount of dressing on your salad? NO! This is simply intended to demonstrate the ratio of barbecue sauce to ranch dressing. Make what you need for the number of salads you’re making. Put the dressing into a squeeze bottle. Drizzle it over your salad. Make it pretty.
Cut up or shred your turkey or chicken while your bacon is frying. (Or if you’ve been smart, just pull the frozen chopped cooked bacon out of the freezer where you stuck it last time.) I had a friend helping when I made this salad. “What can I do? It seemed like a good idea to have him cut up the smoked turkey breast, but you can tell that I didn’t do it. Why? Because if I had done it, all the pieces would have had a uniform size and shape. It looks better that way. I was glad to have the help, but next time I will encourage a visitor to tear the lettuce into pieces. Nonuniform shapes and sizes are just fine in that arena.
Assemble your ingredients, making a bed of lettuce on bottom, then layering on the remaining ingredients in whatever arrangement your inner artist moves you to create. Squeeze on the dressing (it’s so much nicer looking this way than just ladling out spoonsful) and top with a little minced parsley if you need just a bit more color.
As a reminder, check with your picky eaters before assembling their salads. They may choose to have you leave out something that would give them nightmares. These are all sweet dream ingredients to me, but reasonable minds can differ.
If you are looking for something a little more straight-laced or if you only have regular cooked chicken, rather than smoked, try our Company Cobb Salad.