Ladies Who Lunch

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Chopped Chicken Salad

When I think of a luncheon, I think of subpar chicken salad and that scene from The Help where the group of frenemies get together to play bridge and catch up on the latest gossip. Today, we are ditching the bridge and subpar chicken salad, keeping the gossip, and having a fun and modern lunch with the ladies!


Okay, okay, I am making a chicken salad, but this one is far from subpar! This recipe was inspired by the famous McCarthy chopped salad at The Beverly Hills Hotel’s Polo Lounge. The Martin Family Style version is simplified and has a made from scratch balsamic vinaigrette that is to die for!


The real star of this show is the balsamic vinaigrette. This dressing is simple to make and I promise you will make it over and over again! 


Start the dressing by putting the smashed garlic, honey, Dijon mustard, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper and crushed red pepper in a blender or food processor. Give that a spin and slowly add in the extra light flavored olive oil while the blender is on a low speed. The slower you add the oil, the thicker the dressing will become.


You can really get creative with this salad and there are no set rules for the ingredients.  I am using romaine lettuce, cherry tomatoes, avocado, green onions and bacon. I top it with pepper jack cheese. If I serve it as the main dish, I add grilled chicken.


This salad is perfect to serve when you are entertaining because it is so beautiful. I like to arrange the toppings in rows and serve it in a big white bowl.


{Balsamic Vinaigrette}


  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 3/4 cup extra light flavored olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (more if you like it hot)


  • Put the garlic, honey, Dijon, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper and crushed red pepper into a food processor or blender
  • Blend until smooth
  • With the blender or food processor on a low setting, slowly drizzle in the extra light flavored olive oil
  • Continue to blend until the dressing thickens (about 2 minutes)
{Chopped Salad}


  • 2 hearts of romaine lettuce, washed and chopped
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1 cup pepper jack cheese, shredded
  • 6 green onions, chopped
  • 5 slices bacon, cooked and chopped
  • 4 chicken breasts, grilled and diced


  • In a separate bowl, toss the romaine with 1/4 of the dressing so that it is lightly coated
  • Arrange the remaining ingredients into rows and serve the rest of the dressing on the side
  • Enjoy!


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