While cooking a big summer grilling story, we had leftover grilled meat galore. So we gave it a new life in main-dish salads for our Test Kitchen lunches. The dressing is a cinch to customize, depending on what you have on hand--and so is the salad itself: Use whatever grilled meat, vegetables, and greens you like.
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar, sherry vinegar, or lemon juice
3 garlic cloves, minced, or 1 finely chopped shallot
1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped robust herbs, such as fresh thyme leaves
1/3 cup chopped mild herbs, such as cilantro
1 tablespoon smoked paprika or a generous pinch of chile flakes (optional)
3 cups (3/4 lb.) sliced or torn grilled chicken or steak
2 to 3 cups grilled or raw vegetables, such as sliced bell peppers, corn, or portabella mushrooms
Chopped green onions
2 qts. salad greens
How to Make It
Make dressing: In a large bowl, combine oil, vinegar, garlic, salt, and pepper. Stir in thyme and cilantro, if using. Add paprika if you like.
Make salad: Set aside 1/2 cup dressing. Toss the rest in a large bowl with chicken. Let stand 10 minutes. Add vegetables and salad greens and toss with as much of the reserved dressing as you like.