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The salad I've been obsessing over

I haven't always liked salads. Two things helped me: fun ingredients and chopping them up. I continue to be shocked when I order a salad at a restaurant, and the ingredients are lacking, disproportionate, or too big to eat in one bite.

When I started working from home during COVID, I got really into a chopped taco salad. While a "chopped salad" is typically thought of as a salad with certain ingredients, you can really make any salad chopped. For months I took that salad to work and enjoyed my perfectly proportioned bites. As it often goes, though, I got sick of it. I should really make that taco salad again soon...

This summer, I went to the NYC restaurant Barbuto for the first time and had their kale salad. It was crazy how much I enjoyed that dish. I craved it so much that days later, I tried to recreate it. My first rendition of the salad was very simple and adapted to what I had at home. I finely chopped kale, roughly chopped Parmigiano Reggiano and aged gouda, sprinkled breadcrumbs, and drizzled it with olive oil, salt, and cracked black pepper. I initially would make this as a side salad and never have leftovers.

As I've been more conscious about eating enough protein, I decided to upgrade this salad to a full meal. I figured that chicken would be a welcome addition. I also had those mini cucumbers in the fridge for snacking.

I love their crunch, so I decided to throw them in as well. This has become my go-to salad because it's delicious and flexible to play around with the ingredients. I experiment with multiple kinds of cheese at once and with produce like cherry tomatoes.

See the recipe below to get obsessed with this salad yourself!

The Salad I've Been Obsessing Over

Cook Time: 13 minutes

Total Time: 13 minutes

Servings: 2


For the chicken:

  • 1 package of chicken thighs

  • Seasonings. I use salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder.

For the chopped salad:

  • Romaine

  • Dino kale

  • Mini cucumbers

  • Salt & Pepper

  • Olive oil

  • Cheeses. I use a combination of Parmigiano Reggiano, goat cheese, aged cheddar, aged gouda, or anything else I have.


Air fry chicken thighs

  • Season chicken thighs on both sides. I use salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder.

  • Put the chicken thighs in the air fryer on 400 while you make the rest of the salad.

  • Cook for 7 minutes on one side, flip, and air fry on the other side for 6 more minutes.

  • Chicken should be tender on the inside and crisp on the outside.

Prepare salad

  • Chop romaine

  • Chop dino kale

  • Cut up mini cucumbers

  • Add olive oil, salt & pepper

  • Roughly chop cheeses. I used Parmigiano Reggiano, goat cheese, and aged cheddar.

  • Mix all the ingredients together.

Add chicken

  • Remove chicken from air fryer, slice, and add to salad.

  • Feel free to top with balsamic vinegar, hot sauce, or keep it simple.


Leave your comments below and share your experience preparing this recipe or other salads you love!

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