After Easter Basket

By Angela Denstad Stigeler


After Easter’s come and gone and spring seems to have arrived in earnest, it feels good to take a break from hot cooked food and compose a cooler meal. A chef’s salad is just right for the occasion, tossing a mélange of meats and vegetables all together—especially appropriate if you happen to have some leftover ham to toss into the mix. Of course, the boiled eggs are the main garnish and what really help make this dish a meal. Other add-ins could be cold asparagus tips or lightly cooked green beans or peas. If it’s fresh and flavorful, that’s what really matters here, rather than following a prescribed menu. So go ahead and put all your Easter leftovers in one basket—or bowl, as it were.  It’s a fabulous way to get back to a lighter style of eating as we start to leave our winter fare behind.


Chef’s Salad



3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 small shallot, minced

1 small garlic clove, minced

1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme, or ½ teaspoon dried

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil


1 head romaine lettuce, torn into bite-sized pieces

½ of a cucumber, peeled, seeded and sliced

1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, halved

1-2 radishes, thinly sliced

4 ounces each deli ham, turkey and cheddar cheese cut into matchsticks

1 hard-boiled egg per person, quartered

1 cup croutons (optional)


Combine the vinegar, shallot, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper in a bowl large enough to hold the salad. Slowly whisk in the olive oil until the dressing is well combined and slightly thickened. Add the lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes and radishes to the bowl and toss well to mix and coat everything in the dressing. Put the salad onto a serving platter, or individual plates, and arrange the deli ham, turkey and cheese on top. Garnish each serving with a hard-boiled egg cut into quarters. Sprinkle croutons on top and serve.