To make this pretty springtime salad, cut a fresh red ripe tomato in a petal-like fashion. Then fill it with a chicken salad made more interesting with seasoned croutons and a creamy Caesar salad dressing, tangy with balsamic vinegar.
4 med. fresh Florida tomatoes. (see note)
4 cups romaine lettuce leaves, torn into bite-sized pieces
1⁄2 cup prepared creamy Caesar salad dressing, mixed with 2 tsp. balsamic vinegar
1⁄2 cup Caesar-flavored croutons, divided
2 cups cooked chicken, cut into 1⁄2-in. strips
1 cup sliced celery
1⁄2 cup sliced scallions
1⁄2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Note: Store tomatoes at room temperature until fully ripe.
1. Core tomatoes. Place core side down and cut each tomato in eight wedges, nearly all the way through, but leave bottom intact; set aside.
2. Place tomatoes on a bed of lettuce. Coarsely crumble 1⁄4 cup croutons, dividing evenly over the tomatoes.
3. Drizzle tomatoes with half the mixed salad dressing. Add chicken, celery, and scallions to the bowl with the remaining salad dressing. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Spoon into tomatoes, dividing evenly.
4. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and remaining croutons.