Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Blue Cheese Chopped Salad


Last week for Halloween, I offered a giveaway. Your choice of the first three CHEESE SHOP MYSTERIES for leaving a comment.

The winner is:

LLK10 (retired), who loved popcorn balls.  Send me an email at Avery at AveryAames dot com and provide the name of the book and your address.


 I met my husband at the Palm Restaurant. I was there for lunch with a girlfriend. This was way back when I was an actress (The Palm was one of the "in" places to be) and I was treating a girlfriend to a fancy lunch for her birthday.  I dressed up. I arrived on time. She was late. Really really late. That's how I met my husband. I was waiting, waiting, waiting for this woman to show up...believe it or not, I can't remember her name now. Argh!  I'm sitting there, feeling pretty stupid, all by myself, trying not to look like I've been stood up. Trying not to look like I'm hungry for a role in a movie. Or just plain hungry. I have a little birthday gift on the bar in front of me.

Daryl Wood Gerber
Anyway, my future hubby comes up and doesn't introduce himself. He simply grabs the box and says, "For me?" And I cleverly say, "Gee, when's your birthday?" He says, "April." I say, "Hmm. It's not April. It's November. I'll remember to bring you something in April." Chemistry. We smile. He nestles onto a stool and we start talking. For a straight 30 minutes. (Girlfriend still hasn't shown up.) When the business friend my future hubby was having lunch with suddenly butts in and says they have to return to work, we quickly exchange names. No phone numbers. At the same time, my girlfriend (still can't remember her'd think retelling he story it would come to me...starts with J) enters. We introduce all around, and the men leave. Rats. I tell my girlfriend (Jan, Joy, Jenny?) I'm smitten. I'm going to track this guy down. I know where he works. Not stalker-time. Just, well, because I liked him. A lot!

My future hubby goes back to work, looks me up in the phone book (I'm not in it) and finally caves and calls the restaurant. I was still there. Yay! We set a date for dinner. We went back to the Palm. It has become our great memory restaurant. We've been married a lo-o-o-ong time. Lucky

Anyway, the Palm has a fabulous chopped salad, called the Gigi salad. Right up to our wedding, Gigi (the maitre 'd) swore he introduced my husband and me. NOT.  Too funny. Everyone loves to be a matchmaker.

Anyway, I love a chopped salad. There's almost nothing simpler to make. And chopping gets aggressions out, don't you think?

Chop, chop, chop. Bam, bam, bam.

I hope you enjoy this yummy dish. I've tweaked it from the Palm's version. I don't have a clue what the restaurant's dressing entails. A vinaigrette. This one is a little more tart, super simple, and extremely tasty with the blue cheese.


 (for two)

2 Roma tomatoes
½ Maui sweet onion
½ cucumber, peeled
½ cup string beans, * cooked, see below
4 ounces blue cheese, crumbled
1 lemon (Meyer, preferred)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon Kosher salt


Cook the string beans, see below, and cool in ice water bath.

Meanwhile, chop the tomatoes, onion, cucumber. Mix together. Cut the string beans in half. Toss with the other vegetables. Cut the lemon and squeeze the lemon juice over the salad. Drizzle with oil and add the salt. Toss one more time.

Set mixture on plates and top with 2 ounces crumbled blue cheese.

To cook string beans:

Bring a pot of water to boil. Meanwhile, cut off the tips of the string beans. Add beans to boiling water. Boil for 2 minutes. Pour off the water and steam with the lid on for 2 minutes. Immediately rinse the beans and put into an ice water bath for 2 minutes. Drain. These will be bright green and still crisp. Perfect for a snack or chopped salad.


The 4th in A Cheese Shop Mystery series: 
coming February 2013.

You can pre-order the book HERE. 

You can learn more about me, Avery, by clicking this link.

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Also, you probably know by now about my alter ego,
DARYL WOOD GERBER...and her new series
debuts July 2013

"Like" Daryl's page on Facebook and "follow" Daryl on Twitter.
"She" doesn't say all the same things "Avery" does. Promise.

Say cheese!



  1. Great story! And you have an "our salad"! More interesting than "our song," definitely.

    1. Sheila, too funny. I never thought of it that way. We also have a song. :)

      ~Daryl aka Avery

  2. Such a cute story--I love hearing about how people meet. And the salad looks great--though I'd want that onion to be verrrrry mild.

    1. Lucy/Robert, thanks. Mild onions are delish. The Maui sweet onion is a very mild onion.

      Daryl aka Avery

  3. Aww. What a fun story. And you have the very, very late "J" to thank for meeting your sweet husband.

    ~ Krista

    1. Yes, definitely. Not Jacky. Not Julie. Sigh...cannot come up with it. Bad me! LOL

      Daryl aka Avery

  4. A Wonderful Meet Cute. I also met my wife in a bar. Not nearly as cute... But there was a T-Shirt and a contest involved, but i don't have room to tell that whole story, but just to frighten,I was the winner!

    Looking forward to the 4 th in the series!

    Formerly Year on the Grill

    1. Dave, a tee shirt contest. My imagination is going crazy fun!
      Avery aka Daryl

  5. Such a cute story! =)
    You never know when..or where..Romance will happen! =)

    1. Melissa, I agree. We always have to be prepared for good luck!!