I know that salad is typically not everyone’s go-to when they think of a comforting postpartum meal for a new mama. But hang on a second. Because I have been making this salad for postpartum friends (and myself) for years – and if I’m being honest? I have yet to meet someone who does not absolutely love this salad. Seriously. Not one person.
I’m a little bit of a “seasonal meal bringer,” and I do try to honor what feels right based on the weather or the season when mama has that baby. In those darker, cooler months, I definitely love bringing a hot dish or a warm soup (this fagioli is one of my favs). But for those warmer, longer days or postpartum seasons, this salad is truly my go-to. It is FULL of nutrients that mama needs, including tons of veggies and proteins. The homemade dressing is so, so good. And it actually keeps really well in the fridge (if not all tossed together), so I love making a huge portion and hope that mama and fam have (and enjoy) the leftovers.
Now, let’s get you to the recipe ⬇️
CHOP CHOP SALAD
Source: My MIL’s Kitchen
For the Italian Vinaigrette:
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 Tbsp water
- 1 Tbsp dijon mustard
- 2 Tbsp minced garlic
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp coarse black pepper
- 1/2 tsp dry mustard
- 2 tsp dry oregano
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- 1/2 C red wine vinegar
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 C olive oil
For the Salad:
- 1 head of lettuce (I prefer chopped romaine)
- 1 C fresh basil, leaves chopped
- 1/2 C chickpeas
- 8 ounces of dry wine salami, diced
- 8 ounces of plum tomatoes, diced
- 1 avocado, cubed
- 1/2 C provolone cheese (grated or cubed)
- 1/2 C mozzarella (I prefer fresh, chopped or small balls)
- 12 ounces of shredded rotisserie chicken
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced
- To prepare vinaigrette: Combine *egg yolk and water in small bowl and whisk well. Cover the bowl with a small plate and microwave on high for 10 seconds, or until mixture starts to expand. Continue to cook 5 seconds longer. Whisk again. Cover and return to microwave for another 5 seconds. Remove, whisk again, and then cover and let sit 1 minute. In a *food processor/small blender, process egg yolk mixture, dijon, garlic, salt, pepper, dry mustard, oregano, sugar, vinegar and lemon juice. Add in olive oil, processing (or blending) until emulsified.
- To prepare salad: Combine salad *ingredients in large bowl and top with a few turns of cracked black pepper. I like to grate on some parmesan if it’s available. Toss salad with dressing just before eating.
- Egg yolk for vinaigrette: I have definitely skipped this part in a hurry or when I don’t want to deal with it. I haven’t noticed any difference in flavor, just consistency of dressing (it’s a bit less smooth/creamy).
- Food processing: I have done this in a food processor and a small blender. Honestly, I don’t see a ton of difference in the outcome (as long as your blender is small enough to do it’s job with this volume).
- Salad ingredients: Feel free to get creative here. The avocado is an addition my family loves. We also work with whatever Italian-style cheeses we have available, have skipped chicken to make it a bit lighter, etc. No hard and fast rules (just don’t skip that dressing)!
- Mixing the dressing in: As expected, the salad doesn’t keep well if it is all tossed together. This recipe makes a large salad, so if you don’t think you’ll eat it all in one sitting, only toss the portion you will eat with dressing and keep the salad/dressing leftovers separate.
If you are taking this to a postpartum mama, I would suggest keeping the vinaigrette and salad ingredients separate (don’t toss it all together). I also like to drop it off with the tomato(es) unsliced/separate and the whole avocado and allow the family to portion those in (fresh) when they are ready to eat. Don’t forget some fresh crusty bread and a fresh batch of lactation cookies for dessert (or breakfast 😉).