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City (Beach) Salad

From the Culinate Kitchen collection by
Serves 6 to 8


My friends Cameron and Nancy serve a wonderful salad at their beach cottage on the Oregon Coast that’s known as “beach salad.” When the outdoor wood-fired oven is stoked, they throw in a chicken to roast, which takes on a delicious smoked flavor. The next day, Nancy adds bits of this chicken to a large bowl with cooked macaroni, bacon, tomatoes, lettuce, and blue cheese, then tosses it all with a buttermilk dressing and chives cut from her lovely garden.

Though friends and family have tried to duplicate this salad at home, it’s always missing that special something — sea air? the pleasant company? smoked chicken? the requisite glass of wine served alongside in the afternoon?!

Here’s my city rendition of beach salad. Although it’s not as good as when Nancy makes it, it’s still pretty darn tasty.


6 oz. prosciutto, cut into slivers
1 to 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil


cup sour cream or yogurt
cup mayonnaise
cup plain low-fat buttermilk
2 Tbsp. lemon juice or cider vinegar
1 garlic clove, minced
~ Salt and freshly ground black pepper


2 to 3 cups cooked chicken, grilled or roasted, shredded into bite-size pieces
2 cups cooked and drained pasta, small shells or macaroni
3 ripe red tomatoes (or 1 pint cherry tomatoes), chopped
1 bunch green onions, bulbs and some of the light green stalks, thinly sliced
1 head Romaine lettuce, chopped
½ to ¾ cup blue cheese, preferably Rogue Creamery Smokey Blue or Roquefort, broken into crumbles
~ Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


  1. Cook the prosciutto: Fry the slivers of prosciutto in enough olive oil to cover the bottom of a large skillet, until the prosciutto begins to brown on the edges and get a little crispy, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove the prosciutto from the skillet to a plate and pat dry with a paper towel.
  2. Make the dressing: Whisk together the sour cream/yogurt, mayonnaise, buttermilk, lemon juice or vinegar, and garlic until smooth. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.
  3. Assemble the salad: In a large bowl, place the chicken, pasta, tomatoes, green onions, lettuce, blue cheese, and cooked prosciutto. Pour half the dressing over the salad and toss. Season to taste with salt, freshly ground pepper, and more dressing; serve extra dressing on the side or reserve for later use.

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