Chopped Salad With Ham and Balsamic Vinaigrette

Chopped Salad Preparation
Michelle Tran / EyeEm / Getty Images
  • Total: 20 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 5 mins
  • Yield: 3 to 4 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
717 Calories
59g Fat
26g Carbs
26g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 3 to 4 servings
Amount per serving
Calories 717
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 59g 75%
Saturated Fat 17g 84%
Cholesterol 65mg 22%
Sodium 638mg 28%
Total Carbohydrate 26g 10%
Dietary Fiber 8g 30%
Protein 26g
Calcium 541mg 42%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This hearty salad is a brilliant choice for a hot summer day or evening when you want something filling but don't feel like spending a lot of time in the kitchen. Cook and prep times are both super short, and the ingredients all come together in a single bowl.

This dish—with its mix of meat, cheese, legumes, nuts, tomatoes, romaine lettuce, and other crisp vegetables—is similar to the classic Cobb salad. It offers a mix of flavors and textures that will make each new bite pleasingly different from the previous one.

Ingredients

  • For the salad:
  • 1 tablespoon butter (or vegetable oil)
  • 1 cup ham (diced)
  • 1 large head romaine lettuce (chopped)
  • 1/3 cup red onion (diced)
  • 1/4 cup radish (diced)
  • 1/2 cup toasted pecans (or roasted peanuts, chopped)
  • 1/2 cup cooked chickpeas
  • 1 medium cucumber (peeled and diced)
  • 2 small to medium tomatoes (diced)
  • 1 cup Havarti, Monterey Jack (or mild cheddar cheese, diced)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley (chopped)
  • Optional for serving: tortilla chips
  • For the vinaigrette: 
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon honey Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup good-quality olive oil
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Freshly ground pepper (to taste)

Steps to Make It

  1. Heat the butter or vegetable oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the diced ham and cook, stirring, until browned. Remove the pan and allow to cool.

  2. In a large bowl combine the cooled ham with the chopped lettuce, onion, radish, pecans, chickpeas, cucumber, tomato, cheese, and parsley; toss to mix well.

  3. In a jar or container, combine the balsamic vinegar and mustard. Gradually whisk in the olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste.

  4. Arrange the salad on individual salad plates on a bed of tortilla chips, if desired, with the vinaigrette on the side.

Tips

  • To toast the pecans, place a dry skillet over medium heat. Add the nuts and cook, stirring and turning constantly, until they are aromatic and lightly browned. Take them off the heat and transfer to a plate or container to cool. Chop into bite-size pieces.
  • You can easily swap in other vegetables to make use of what you have on hand. Use a different type of nut or bean that you already have in your cupboard. Or select an alternative to parsley, such as dill or basil, that you have growing in your garden. You can also replace the ham with diced, leftover cooked pork, beef, or chicken. Or substitute fresh seared or canned tuna. 
  • Because the salad is so adaptable, feel free to opt for your favorite dressing instead.