Cameron Diaz's "Weirdo" Salad Looks Like Fall Lunch Perfection
We can't wait to try her creative crouton trick!
So we were excited to see her back at the kitchen counter for her latest 15-minute IGTV all about how to make one of her favorite "weirdo salads" (what the actress/mom/author calls any salad that includes a pickled egg). Pro tip: When she finishes a jar of pepperoncini or pickles, Diaz says she boils an egg and pops it into that jar of brine. Refrigerate for 1 to 7 days and use in this salad—or as a snack, in a sandwich or on avocado toast. Brilliant!
This healthy fall salad recipe, which Diaz says pairs well with the white wine that's part of her own Avaline brand, is inspired by a dish served at Jean-Georges Beverly Hills at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel that she tried, "back in the day when we used to go out to eat." It's her "home edit" of the more refined salad, Diaz explains.
To ace it, the key is getting the ingredients diced into equal small pieces so you can savor a bit of everything in each bite. First, she removes the ribs from the kale leaves and tears them into "tiny" bites.
"My hands are my favorite tools," she says. "There's something really gratifying about making something with your hands."
She then switches to a chef's knife to slice broccoli into equally tiny (about ½-inch) mini trees.
"Fiber, fiber, fiber, we love fiber," Diaz shares (same here, Cameron!), as she describes broccoli as "nature's brooms" since they sweep out your digestive tract.
Then it's time to slice the pickled egg to match the size of the broccoli and kale, then dice in half of an avocado in ½-inch cubes, too.
For the dressing, combine a spoonful of whole grain mustard, a splash of champagne vinegar and olive oil. Finish with tiny mint leaves—the ones she uses are so delicate and small, Diaz needs to slip on her glasses to see them clearly—then shave on some manchego cheese (or any medium-to-hard, salty cheese). Pour on the dressing, top with croutons and mix.
Speaking of croutons, we're big fans of Diaz's homemade hack she explains in the video. When she's wanting some croutons but doesn't have any in the pantry, Diaz toasts a slice of bread, slices off the crusts, then cuts the toast into ½-inch squares. Saute those bitty bread cubes in a skillet with olive oil and a pat of butter, then combine with a clove or two of chopped garlic that's been quick-pickled in red wine vinegar for about 10 minutes. Voila: Almost-instant homemade garlic croutons. (Speaking of unique croutons, we have this Winter Salad with Halloumi "Croutons" on deck next for dinner this week!)
"The crunch of the croutons and the crunch of the broccoli with the creaminess of the avocado...and the yolk," Diaz says. "Then there's this bright pop of mint that comes out of nowhere...it's like a party!"
While she doesn't give exact proportions in the video, we've guessed below to give a guide in case you want to dish like Diaz at home.
Cameron Diaz's "Weirdo" Fall Salad
Yield: 1 Salad
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 3 large kale leaves, stems removed and torn into ½-inch pieces
- ½ cup broccoli, diced into ½-inch pieces
- ½ small avocado, diced into ½-inch pieces
- 1 pickled egg, diced into ½-inch pieces
- 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 tablespoon champagne vinegar
- 1 teaspoon whole grain mustard
- 1 slice toasted bread, crusts removed and diced into ½-inch pieces
- 1 tablespoon butter
- Shaved manchego cheese, to taste
- In a small bowl, combine chopped garlic and red wine vinegar. Set aside to quick pickle for about 10 minutes.
- In your serving bowl, add kale, broccoli, avocado and egg.
- Make the dressing: In another small bowl, whisk 3 tablespoons olive oil, champagne vinegar and whole grain mustard.
- Make the crotons: In a small skillet over medium heat, saute the bread cubes in 1 tablespoon olive oil and butter until golden brown. Strain the garlic from the vinegar, then add the garlic and a splash of the red wine vinegar to the pan. Stir to combine.
- Top the kale mixture with the dressing, croutons and shaved cheese. Toss to combine.