Salads have come a long way. In the past, they were merely appetizers but today, salads are much more colorful, tasty, and substantial, and often served as entrées unto themselves. With different salad greens such as mâche, mizuna, and escarole gaining mainstream acceptance, salads now show great diversity. Liven up the flavor by adding fruits, nuts, and edible flowers as well as popular staples such as potato, tuna, and chicken.
3 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 small garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 skinless boneless chicken breast halves (1 1/4 pounds)
2 California avocados
1 head romaine, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-wide slices (8 cups)
6 bacon slices, cooked until crisp, drained, and finely chopped
3 medium tomatoes (3/4 pound), seeded and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 to 3 oz Roquefort, crumbled (1/2 to 3/4 cup)
2 bunches watercress, coarse stems discarded
2 hard-boiled large eggs, halved and forced through a coarse sieve
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh chives
Whisk together all dressing ingredients except oil in a bowl, then add oil in a slow stream, whisking until emulsified.
Bring 5 cups water to a simmer in a 2-quart saucepan, then simmer chicken, uncovered, 6 minutes. Remove pan from heat and cover, then let stand until chicken is cooked through, about 15 minutes. Transfer chicken to a cutting board and cool completely. Cut into 1/2-inch cubes.
Halve, pit, and peel avocados, then cut into 1/2-inch cubes.
Spread romaine over bottom of a 6- to 8-quart glass bowl and top with an even less