Portable Chef Salad


Abstract: I never could figure out why they called a basic green salad with some ham and cheese on top a chef salad.  That name doesn’t give chefs much credit for creativity.  This creation is a new wrinkle to an old theme.  It can be served as finger food or a salad.


Serves: As many people as it takes to eat it up


Lead time: About ˝ hour


Tools: Vanilla wafer size round cookie cutter, rolling pin, chopping knife and board, cookie sheet


Bill of Materials:

            Roma or cherry tomatoes                                1 small Roma | 2 or 3 large cherry

            Egg plant                                                         1 small

            Cucumber                                                        1 small

            White onion                                                    2 small

            Boiled ham                                                      3 regular sandwich slices

            American cheese                                             3 regular sandwich slices

            Jumbo canned biscuits                                    1 can of 10 or 12

            Celery seed                                                     12 pinches

            Ground dill weed                                            12 pinches                                                      

Assembly Instructions:

            You will do 10 or 12 depending on the can of biscuits you have.  Prepare 10 or 12 thin (1/8 inch) slices of the tomatoes, eggplant, cucumber and white onions.  Use the cookie cutter to make the slices perfectly round and about the size of a vanilla wafer or Oreo®.  Lay the ham, turkey and cheese slices flat on the cutting board and use the cookie cutter to make 10 or 12 perfectly round slices.

            Open the canned biscuits and separate.  On a sheet of waxed paper dusted with flour, carefully roll each until it is about the thickness of pie crust.  Keep the shape round.

            Place a slice of the ham in the center of the biscuit dough.  Then put a tomato slice on top of the ham.  Put a pinch of celery seed next and then a slice of egg plant.  Put a turkey slice on top of the egg plant and a cucumber slice on top of that.  Add a pinch of ground dill weed.  Put the onion slice next and the cheese slice on top.  With a paring knife, cut a v-shaped wedge out of the biscuit dough from the stack in the middle to the edge in four places equally spaced around the stack.  Now fold the dough up around the stack and fold it over the top.  Use the wedges you cut out to fill up any openings so the stack is completely covered with dough.  Transfer to a greased or non-stick cookie sheet.  Repeat for each biscuit.  Bake at 375° for 12 -16 minutes until the crust is golden brown.

            Serve on a snack tray with your favorite salad dressings for dip or three or four can be put in a salad bowl and served as a regular salad course.  For an interesting variation, try the recipe with different cheeses.  Gruyere works great.  Acorn squash or zucchini may be substituted for the egg plant.