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The key to chopped salad is salting ahead of time

Joe Keller/America's Test Kitchen via AP Summer Vegetable Chopped Salad

By AMERICA’S TEST KITCHEN

A chopped salad, where every ingredient is cut into pieces of about the same size, offers the perfect mixture of flavors and textures in every bite. However, some vegetables get watery and soggy when you chop and dress them, and require extra attention.

In this summery salad, we first salted the tomatoes and cucumbers to draw out their excess moisture before adding them to the salad. Seeding the cucumbers and quartering the tomatoes exposed more surface area to the salt for even better results.

Letting all the vegetables marinate in the vinaigrette for a few minutes before adding the lettuce intensified their flavor. Along with cucumbers and tomatoes, we chose sweet yellow bell pepper, red onion, and peppery radishes and tossed them all with chopped romaine lettuce hearts. Be sure to add the lettuce just before serving, or it will turn soggy.

SUMMER VEGETABLE

CHOPPED SALAD

Servings: 4

Start to finish: 30 minutes

3 cucumbers, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded, and cut into 1/2 inch pieces

1 1/2 pounds cherry tomatoes, quartered

Salt and pepper

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1 garlic clove, minced

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 yellow bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and cut into 1/2 inch pieces

1 small red onion, chopped fine

8 ounces radishes, trimmed and sliced thin

3/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

1 romaine lettuce heart (6 ounces), cut into 1 inch pieces

Toss cucumbers and tomatoes with 1 teaspoon salt and let drain in colander for 15 minutes.

Whisk vinegar, garlic, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper together in large bowl. Whisking constantly, drizzle in oil. Add drained cucumbers and tomatoes, bell pepper, onion, radishes, and parsley and toss to coat. Let salad sit for at least 5 minutes or up to 20 minutes.

Add lettuce and gently toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve.

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Nutrition information per serving: 215 calories; 129 calories from fat; 15 g fat (2 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 0 mg cholesterol; 334 mg sodium; 19 g carbohydrate; 6 g fiber; 9 g sugar; 4 g protein.