Dear SOS: I had lunch with a friend at Chaya Downtown restaurant, in Los Angeles. We ordered their chopped salad with grilled shrimp in an aioli jalapeño dressing. It was superb! I'd love to make it at home. Can you get the recipe from the chef?
Dear Velma: Chopped romaine lettuce tossed with fresh corn, avocado, cucumber and nicely spiced shrimp, this salad is big and bright, and it packs no shortage of heat from its jalapeño-spiced dressing. Chaya was happy to share its recipe for chopped salad, which we've adapted below.
Chaya's chopped salad
Total time: 50 minutes
Note: Adapted from Chaya. For the celery seed powder, grind celery seeds in a spice or coffee grinder, or use a mortar and pestle.
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
Juice from 1 lemon
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
1. Roast the jalapeños: Place the jalapeños on a rack set over a stove-top burner and roast until charred on all sides. Set aside until cool enough to handle, then peel and seed.
2. In a blender, combine the jalapeños, mayonnaise, lemon juice and olive oil, and blend. Season to taste with salt and pepper. This makes about 1 cup dressing. Cover and chill until needed.
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/8 teaspoons cumin