Deli Chopped Salad On Croutons
You will need:
1 pound pumpernickel bread, small loaf, thinly sliced
1 pound baguette, thinly sliced
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2-1 teaspoon garlic salt
5 cups chopped romaine lettuce, about 3-4 small heads or 2 large heads of romaine
1/4 pound deli-style roasted or smoked turkey, diced
1/4 pound sliced salami, diced
1/4 pound sliced provolone cheese, diced
1 cup black olives, roughly chopped
1/2 medium red onion, finely diced
Kosher salt and cracked pepper, to taste
Ranch and Italian dressing for serving, recipes below.
Preheat oven to 325º.
Brush the pumpernickel and baguette slices with a small amount of olive oil and lightly sprinkle with garlic salt. Toast in the oven on a cookie sheet for about 5-7 minutes and cool.
In a large bowl, toss together the diced romaine, roasted turkey, salami, provolone cheese, olives and red onion. Crack about a teaspoon or so of pepper and a pinch of kosher salt and toss again.
Spoon a small amount of the deli tossed salad on each large crouton and top with a light drizzle of either ranch or Italian dressing, preferably matching the ranch dressing with the pumpernickel croutons and the Italian with the baguette croutons both for taste and as visual clues for your guests as to which dressing is on each mini salad bite.
Ranch and Italian Dressings
Here’s the secret to both ranch and Italian dressings; there are no recipes, just ratios of fats, oils, acidity and herbs suited to your personal preferences.
When making Italian dressing, I generally use a 4:1 ratio (either tablespoons or ounces, it doesn’t matter much with salad dressing) of olive oil to red or white wine vinegar, throw in a tablespoon or two of chopper whatever fresh Italian herbs I have handy; basil, oregano and chives (or dried if I must), mince a clove or two of garlic in a teaspoon of salt. Toss it all in a small bowl or bottle with some cracked pepper, a bit of grated parmesan cheese and stir or shake until combined.
Ranch dressing lends itself to even more personalization. In a small bowl, create a base using a 2:1 ratio (or 1:1, depending on how thick you like your ranch dressing) in 1/4-cup increments of a combination of buttermilk and mayonnaise, or buttermilk and sour cream, or buttermilk and plain Greek yogurt, or even two fatty dairy items (sour cream and mayo) with buttermilk for a very rich dressing. Add in chopped chives, parsley and even some dill if you like. Again mince your garlic in kosher salt and blend into the dressing with some cracked pepper. Let your ranch develop in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to 1 hour before using.
You can make both dressings and the large croutons the night before if you’re tight for time on game day.
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