Nearly midnight, tired, hungry, and road-weary doesn’t even begin to describe my state of mind when I sat down to my first Ruth Chris Chopped Salad. My darling husband brought one home for me knowing my inner gremlin would be walking through the door.
This salad was an explosion of bright tangy lemony flavors partnered with the juxtaposition of crunch and creamy. It was satisfying on every level and even a bit nostalgic. It transcended heaven.
Did I mention I was REALLY hungry???
The recipe below is my approximation of the Ruth Chris Chopped Salad. The most important component of this salad is the dressing. Fortunately, it’s also the easiest part of making the salad.
Ruth Chris Chopped Salad Recipe
The only thing that could possibly make this salad any better is if you pair it with a sizzling restaurant-style steak.
Lemon Basil Dressing
- In a small bowl, mix together 1/2 cup sour cream, the juice of 1 lemon, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, and 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh basil.
Ruth Chris Chopped Salad Ingredients
- Chop 1/2 head of Iceberg lettuce, 1 radicchio, 1 cup croutons, 1/2 red onion minced, and 5 strips of crispy applewood smoked bacon into 1/2 inch pieces.
- Chop the following items 1/4 inch: 1/2 cup chopped green olives, 1/4 cup chilled hearts of palm (rinsed & well drained), 1 cup fresh mushrooms, and 2 eggs hard boiled.
- Mix all of the chopped ingredients in a large bowl with 2/3 cup packed crumbled blue cheese. Set this aside until ready to assemble the salad.
Assemble the Salad
- Gently fold the dressing into the salad body.
- Plate the salad onto small plates and top with crunchy fried onions (the kind mom would top her Thanksgiving green bean casserole dish with).
- Garnish with halved cherry tomatoes.
Smart Salad Substitutions
Here are a few of my favorite substitutions:
- Kosher salt – if you only have iodized clabor girl table salt, use 1/4 teaspoon. Taste and continue to season little by little. Table salt is MUCH saltier than kosher salt.
- Garlic powder – use 1 small clove of fresh garlic finely minced.
- Iceberg lettuce – boy choy is a great subsitute for iceberg. It’s very mild in flavor and super crunchy!
- Green olives – use equal amounts of chopped capers. Make sure you rinse them.
- Radicchio – I don’t think I’ve EVER found this in our local rural grocery store. Which is too bad because it’s a beautiful purple and white leafy veggie that’s quite tasty. However, some good bitter substitutions are equal parts of any of the following: endive, arugula (rocket), or watercress.
Plate it Like a Ruth Chris Steakhouse Pro!
This is hands down, the best salad to make when having guests over for dinner. Prep all the ingredients 2 days ahead of time. In other words, make the dressing and chop all the veggies except for the lettuce and bacon. For best results, keep everything separate until the day you plan to serve it.
Up to 3 hours before dinner, chop the lettuce and bacon and combine everything together except for the crunchy fried onions. Then plate the salads and garnish them with the halved tomatoes. Add the fried onions right before serving.
For $5-$10 dollars at a kitchen supply shop or Amazon, you can get one of these:
This is a metal salad ring mold. Place it on the salad plate and fill it with salad.
Then with the bottom of a glass, gently tap the salad down to compress it. This will help it keep its shape. Next top the salad (still in the mold) with crispy onions.
Then using the bottom of the glass again to keep the salad on the plate, bring the ring up, and remove the ring.
Viola! You’ve just plated your salad like a pro!
Ruth Chris Copycat Chopped Salad
- knife and cutting board
- measuring cups and spoons
- 2 mixing bowls
- metal salad ring mold, optional
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 2 fresh lemons juiced
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 cup basil fresh and finely chopped
- 1/2 head Iceberg lettuce chopped
- 6 slices bacon cooked and chopped
- 1 small radicchio chopped or 1 cup arugula
- 1 cup croutons chopped
- 1/2 cup green olives chopped
- 1/2 cup heart of palm chopped
- 2/3 cup blue cheese crumbled
- 4 medium mushrooms chopped
- 2 boiled eggs chopped
- 1 cup crunchy fried onions
- 8 cherry tomatoes halved
- Mix all the salad dressing ingredients together and set aside.
- Gently mix all of the ingredients together except for the crispy fried onions and cherry tomatoes.
- Pour salad dressing over the salad and mix together until thoroughly combined.
- Divide salad between 4 plates and top with crispy fried onions and garnish with cherry tomatoes.
- OR place the metal salad ring mold on the salad plate and fill it with salad. Then with the bottom of a glass, gently tap the salad down to compress it. This will help it keep its shape.
- Remove the glass and top the salad with crispy onions. Then using the bottom of the glass again to keep the salad on the plate, bring the ring up, and remove the ring.
- Garnish with tomatoes.