Maine-Style Chef's Salad
Traditional chef’s salads are made with cold cuts and thinly sliced cheeses. Here we have a delightful twist on that old favorite: the luscious tastes of the Maine coast—shrimp, smoked salmon, and lobster—combined with fresh peapods, beets, carrots, and local cheeses. Remember to snitch a bite or two for yourself as you create this masterpiece of delicacies.
- 6 cups mesclun greens
- 2 cups baby spinach
- 1 cup baby carrots
- 2 cups fresh snow peas
- 1 lb fresh asparagus
- 3 large portobello mushroom caps
- 1 cup sliced cooked beets (optional)
- 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- ¼ cup chives, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
Seafoods and Cheeses:
- 1 lb clean fresh cooked Maine lobster meat
- 1 lb fresh cooked Maine shrimp
- 8 oz smoked salmon
- 4 oz Mystique Cheese Rosemary Chèvre
- 4 oz Mystique Cheese Herb Chèvre
Wash the mesclun greens and baby spinach and place them on a large platter (or on individual salad plates, if you prefer).
Quarter the baby carrots lengthwise to create long, thick matchsticks. Trim the ends off the snow peas.
Trim the bottom ends off of the asparagus. Blanch the asparagus in boiling salted water for 3 minutes. Remove and rinse with cold water. Set aside.
Lightly wash the portobello mushroom caps and slice into 1⁄2-inch strips.
In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar, olive oil, chives, garlic, salt, and pepper. Place the mushroom slices in a large resealable plastic bag and pour the dressing over the mushrooms. Set the bag in a bowl and chill while you assemble the salad.
Arrange the lobster, shrimp, smoked salmon, chèvre, carrots, snow peas, asparagus, and beets (if desired) on top of the greens. You can be creative here, arranging the ingredients decoratively (for example, like the spokes of a wheel).
Drain the mushrooms carefully into a bowl, reserving the dressing. Place the mushrooms on the greens.
Drizzle the dressing over all of the ingredients. There should be just a touch on the seafood and vegetables, allowing the flavor of each element to come through.
Serves 6 to 8
From Fresh Maine Salads by Cynthia Finnemore Simonds