My friend, Tiffany made this salad for us last summer at a get-together. It is the perfect summer dinner. I'm usually the kind of person that eats salad because it's good for me, not because I love salad. BUT, I love this salad. Probably because with the bacon and the yummy dressing it's not all that good for me anymore, but that is beside the point. It made me, a non-salad-lover, love a green salad. The best part about this recipe is that there are no specific measurements, so if you like a lot of pasta--add a lot of pasta and if you're going for a lighter salad for a side dish go easy on the pasta and heavy on the Romaine. Just make it yours--I promise you can't mess it up. And don't even think about leaving out the blue cheese--it's what puts this salad over the top. (I know a lot of people don't like blue cheese, but just a couple of crumbles give it tons of flavor, so promise me you'll try it? Pretty please?) If you want everyone at a potluck to love you, make this. Or, you can be like me and make it and hoard it in your fridge and eat it for lunch and dinner for 3 consecutive days...
P.S. This dressing also makes a fabulous dipping sauce for chicken tenders!
Chicago Chopped Salad
Romaine hearts, chopped into bite-sized pieces
Bacon, cooked and crumbled
Ditalini pasta; cooked, drained, and rinsed in cold water
For the Dressing:
Ranch Dressing (your favorite kind--we happen to like the Hidden Valley Ranch packets)
Honey mustard dressing (your favorite kind--Ken’s is great, but I also like the Great Value one)
Dijon mustard to taste
I like to start off by grilling the chicken and baking the bacon--that way you can do lots of chopping while you’re waiting on those babies.
For the dressing, combine equal parts of ranch and honey mustard dressings. Add dijon mustard to taste. (I added about 1 Tablespoon per cup of ranch). Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Combine as much or as little as you like, of each of the first 7 ingredients listed. Toss the dressing with the salad and serve immediately. If you are anticipating leftovers or don’t intend to eat it all in one day, dress each serving individually and the salad will keep for a couple of days in the fridge without the dressing.
Recipe Source: My friend, Tiffany J., who got the recipe from a friend in Chicago.