I came across another restaurant salad that is a new favorite! It’s the Savannah Chop Salad from McAlister’s Deli. As I oohed and ahhed over the salad as I was eating it, I was also trying to figure out how I could create this salad at home. The salad is the easy part, it’s the dressing that ties it all together and needed mastered. I think I’ve got it pretty close. Mine is definitely a little more pink than their’s so maybe they use a combination of a few types of vinegar instead of just red wine vinegar. I played with the amounts a little, I think it’s a keeper even if it’s not an exact match to McAlister’s! You could always use a good bottled dressing if you don’t want to make your own. I’d recommend a good wine vinaigrette, Dijon vinaigrette or even a berry vinaigrette would work. My version of this salad is darn good if I do say so myself. It’s full of protein and great flavors that liven your taste buds! It’s a meal in itself kinda salad so that’s always a winner with me! As far as the salad ingredients, I’m not going to give amounts since you can use more or less of any ingredient as you like. It’s just not right to measure ingredients for salads. The recipe includes exact amounts for the dressing, though and you will have extra to keep in your fridge for extra salads for a few weeks. I cut up enough cucumbers and grilled and diced enough chicken for a few salads this week so it is simple to throw together for lunch later this week.
I couldn’t think of a name for the salad and didn’t want to call it the same thing that McAlister’s does. My youngest suggested I name it after her so that’s what I did. Here’s The Mae Salad for you to enjoy!
The Mae Salad
Romaine Lettuce – washed and chopped
Cucumber – peeled, seeded and diced
Grape Tomatoes – halved
Sliced honey toasted almonds
Dried Cranberries (I was able to find a package of a combo of the almonds and cranberries, but you could use separate items too)
Boneless Chicken breast – grilled in a little olive oil and seasoned lightly with Italian seasoning and salt and pepper
Soft tangy cheese of your choice – McAlister’s uses Gorgonzola in the Savannah Chopped Salad. I chose Goat Cheese for The Mae Salad because I love it. Feta would also be a nice option.
Red Wine Shallot Dressing:
1 Shallot minced
1/2 C sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar
1/2 C olive oil. I like to use light olive oil for dressings.
1 TBS Dijon mustard
Pinch of Kosher Salt and fresh ground pepper
Make your dressing ahead of time so the shallot has time to really break down in the vinegar and flavor the dressing. Combine all the dressing ingredients, whisk or shake well. Keep in fridge until ready to use. Extra dressing will keep for a few weeks in the fridge and be sure to shake well before each use.
Grill seasoned chicken breast in olive oil. Chop and set aside or in fridge if doing this well in advance.
Chop your veggies
Combine Chopped Romaine, diced cucumbers, sliced tomatoes, Almonds, Cranberries, chopped chicken, and cheese of your choice. You could toss this all together or arrange each ingredient on top of the salad like McAlister’s does. I chose the latter and think the presentation is prettier this way.
Right before serving, drizzle with Red Wine Shallot Dressing.