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Chopped Salad with Creamy Herb Dressing

Atkins Day 7.  Here is another quick low carb breakfast, brunch or lunch option inspired by classic wedge or cobb salads. Using crispy cool romaine lettuce as the base, combine it with whatever you happen to have in your fridge to add texture and flavor.  Today I had crunchy thinly sliced red cabbage, peppery red radishes, and diced tender sweet zucchini. Toss everything in this creamy ranch style dressing full of fresh dill, chives and parsley, and top with hard boiled eggs and crispy salty bacon, smoked salmon or salmon gravlax for protein.  If you are feeling ambitious, plan ahead and make your own bacon or gravlax.

Creamy Herb Dressing

adapted from Chow.com’s Basic Ranch Dressing

INGREDIENTS, yields about 2 cups

1 cup buttermilk, shaken
1/4 cup mayonnaise
3 Tbsp. sour cream or creme fraiche
4 tsp. lemon juice (or white vinegar)
1/2 clove garlic, finely minced or grated on a microplane
2 Tbsp. finely chopped Italian parsley
2 Tbsp. finely chopped chives
3 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh dill
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/8 – 1/4 tsp. coarsely ground or cracked black pepper

PROCEDURE:

Whisk together buttermilk, mayonnaise, sour cream (or creme fraiche), lemon juice and garlic. Fold in the herbs and season with salt and cracked black pepper to taste.  Store for refrigerated for 3-4 days.

Tip:  Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs

The perfect hard boiled egg is cooked all the way through, with a bright yellow yolk.  Just a minute or two too long and the yolk starts to turn green and chalky.  Everyone I know has their own fool proof method for making them.  Here are two of them:

Method 1, the old school way. Place the eggs in a 2-3 quart saucepan, and cover them with 2 inches of cold water. Bring the water to a boil and lower to a simmer. Cook the eggs for 9-11 minutes more, then remove them and plunge them immediately into ice water. Wait until they are completely cooled before peeling.

Method 2 comes from one of my cooks. When you are in the kitchen and have a lot of things going on at the same time, it’s easy to miss moments like when your eggs start to boil.  That’s why I love timers.  Place anywhere from 2 to 10 eggs in deep saucepan. Cover with about 1-1/2 to 2 quarts cold water.  Place the pot over high heat and set a timer for 20 minutes.  When you notice the water boil, turn the heat down so the eggs boil gently and don’t break.  When the 20 minutes are up, remove the eggs and plunge them into ice water. Wait until they are completely cooled before peeling. I had my doubts about the accuracy of this method.  But I used it to make this recipe, and as you can see, it worked perfectly.

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