Chopped Summer Vegetable Salad

After the taco feeding, the girls will probably be feeling a little porky. This salad with some grilled fish or chicken is the answer. The amounts of each vegetable are not important. Change it up any way you like!

2 medium carrots, peeled, ends cut off, quartered lengthwise
1/2 lb. fresh beans, snapped
3 stalks celery, medium dice
1/2 hothouse cucumber, quartered lengthwise, seeds removed, medium dice
1 small red onion, about 3 oz. small dice
1 ripe avocado, medium dice
2 tomatoes, about 1 lb. medium dice
4 cups mixed greens, coarsely chopped
1/2 c. general purpose vinaigrette
3/4 c. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
salt, pepper, and sherry wine vinegar to taste


Blanch the carrots and beans to soften slightly in heavily salted water, then remove to a plate to cool.


Chop the cucumber,






and beans, then transfer them to a salad bowl.


Peel and chop the avocado,


the tomatoes,


and the greens,


then combine everything in the bowl.


Add the cheese, then drizzle the vinaigrette around.


Gently toss to combine everything with your hands or salad tongs.


Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Adjust acid to taste with additional sherry wine vinegar.

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David Gingrass is a food and beverage operations professional with a career spanning more than three decades. His fascination with and love for food, wine and entertaining allows him to view his work as both a vocation and an avocation. Gingrass graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York then cooked in the Bay Area for two years before landing a job at Wolfgang Puck’s original Spago Restaurant in West Hollywood. There he learned to make the signature breads and sausages that he became known for at Postrio and Hawthorne Lane. He was soon promoted to kitchen manager and managed the operational and expense control aspects of Puck’s iconic restaurant for the next four years. Gingrass returned to San Francisco in 1989 when Puck tapped him and his then-wife Anne to open Postrio, Puck’s third restaurant and his first outside of Los Angeles. Postrio opened to rave reviews and soon became the #1 popular Bay Area restaurant in the prestigious Zagat survey. Five and a half years later, the opportunity to open a restaurant of his own presented itself. Hawthorne Lane opened in 1995 and was a San Francisco dining institution for over twelve years, catering to the likes of Julia Child, Jacques Pepin, Mayor Willie Brown, James Carville, President Clinton and First Lady Hilary Clinton. He closed Hawthorne Lane at the end of its fifteen-year lease in 2009 to build a consulting practice for the hospitality industry, sharing his wealth of culinary and operational experiences with new and existing restaurants, assisting them to become successful and profitable.