How many times do you enjoy a restaurant meal only to crave it at home? Quite a few recipes on this blog are recreations of menu offerings that lingered in my brain long after the plate was scraped clean.
The following salad and vinaigrette recipes are my interpretations of popular menu items at Tom + Chee. As I mentioned in this tomato soup post, our local franchise is celebrating National Grilled Cheese Month by thinking of others. They are selling my soup recipe and donating proceeds to The Boys & Girls Club of Lancaster. Soooo exciting!
When I originally set out to recreate the dressing, I ended up with three different renditions that were all close but different in their own way. At mealtime, I served three little piles of salad, each marked in order to tell the difference. (These are the silly things that I put my family through. It’s fun but does create a lot of dishes!)
Two dressings were declared equally delicious, so I ultimately chose my personal favorite. My version of the vinaigrette is not as sweet as the one served at Tom + Chee. If you prefer a sweeter dressing, you may add extra honey to taste.
The protein that I added to this salad is sliced leftovers of homemade Shake ‘n Bake pork chops. This was a reader request some time ago. I’ve been working on it and finally have a recipe that, we think, hits the mark. 😊
- 3 tablespoons (45 grams) white balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon (20 grams) honey
- 1/2 tablespoon (7 grams) Dijon mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt and a few turns of the pepper mill
- 1/3 cup olive oil (74 grams)
- 2 cups lightly packed mixed greens
- 1 slightly rounded tablespoon dried cranberries
- 1 tablespoon toasted slivered or chopped almonds
- 2 tablespoons crumbled goat cheese*
- Optional: grilled chicken breast or another protein of choice
For the dressing: In a small bowl or jar, mix the vinegar, honey, mustard, salt and pepper. Whisk in the olive oil or place the lid on the jar and shake until the vinaigrette becomes thick and emulsified. The dressing may be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator where it will keep for a week or more.
For the salad: Toss the greens with a tablespoon or so of the vinaigrette. (I like just enough to lightly coat the greens without weighing them down.) Sprinkle the dried cranberries and toasted almonds over top, and then evenly distribute the goat cheese. If desired, you may top with a protein of your choice (3-4 ounces is a good amount) and an extra drizzle of the dressing.
- *You can buy goat cheese in a log (often a 4-ounce package) and crumble it. Generally speaking, the fresher the goat cheese, the creamier. As the cheese ages it becomes more crumbly and develops a stronger flavor. I often buy a variety of goat cheese called Chevre. It’s lightly tangy and very creamy. Its creaminess does make it harder to crumble on a salad. It’s easier to drop tiny globs….a bit messy but well worth it.