Friday, December 3, 2010

Cheesecake Factory's Vegetable Salad


Do you copy-cat the food of your favorite restaurants? For me, salads have always been a major inspiration. This is a salad I love to eat in The Cheesecake Factory: Fresh vegetable salad. Since all portions at the CCF are ginormous, it is listed under the appetizer salads, and believe me, it is a full-meal salad. It consists of a large portion of equally sized cubed vegetables: apples, celery, cucumber, asparagus, green beans, roasted beets, edamame, and white cheddar and all on a bed of radicchio and romaine, and a pomegranate vinaigrette. I had it at different locations all over the US, and mostly the salad is more seasonal combination. Today, I felt like replicating it. Here is my version.

2 handfuls of fresh arugula
1/3 apple, peeled and diced
1/4 cup chickpeas
3-4 radishes, cubed
1 stalk celery, washed, cut lengthwise into 4 long strips, and then diced
1/3 English cucumber, peeled, diced
2 TB crumbled blue cheese (I like the crumbled Gorgonzola from Trader Joes)
salt, pepper

Arrange the arugula as a bed in the salad bowl. Drizzle with the vinaigrette. Mix all other ingredients in a separate bowl, and layer on the salad bed. Serve!

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