My good friend Michael, a fellow foodie who lives in the NYC, told me about a recent dining experience at Bar Toto, located in Brooklyn. When I checked out the menu, I swooned. This was the kind of place I want around the corner from me - cozy, casual, and close.
One dish in particular caught my eye - The Bar Toto Salad. It was described as a "salad of arugula and fresh chopped tomato served over a lightly breaded chicken cutlet". I would be happy with just the arugula and tomato part...but on top of a Milanese-style chicken cutlet! I obsessed in my head about trying to get Bar Toto's recipe but I got impatient and made my own version. It's just as good as I imagined it would be - a great blend of the crunchy chicken buried under tangy and peppery salad.
The Bar Tami Salad - serves 4 (measurements are an estimation seeings as I was winging it!)
4 boneless chicken cutlets - pounded thin
1/4 cup flour for pre-dredging (i find this helps everything stick together. if you can make it work without the flour, go for it)
3/4 cup finely grated Parmesan
2 cups fresh breadcrumbs
salt and course ground pepper
1 1/2 cups chopped cherry tomatoes - i used small Amorosa tomatoes for redness and flavor
2 large hand-fulls of washed and dried baby arugula
a 1/2 of one large red onion cut into thin slices
1 clove garlic - chopped
4 tbsp. nice quality red wine vinegar
2 tbsp. nice quality extra virgin olive oil
extra virgin olive oil for frying
lemon wedges for finish
For the salad:
Add red wine vinegar to mixing bowl and slowly whisk in 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil until blended. Add chopped garlic, salt and pepper to taste. Chop tomatoes into halves or quarters. Slice red onions into thin slices and cut into half moons. Place both in mixing bowl and set aside to allow flavors to combine.
For the chicken:
Place flour in shallow pan. Whisk eggs and put in another shallow bowl. Combine breadcrumbs, Parmesan, and salt and pepper together in yet another shallow bowl or a plate. This makes your dredging station.
Pour enough olive oil into a skillet to come to a depth of 1/2 of an inch. While you're heating the oil, pound each cutlet and dredge lightly in flour (shaking off excess), egg wash, and then the breadcrumbs - in that order :). Make sure both sides are completely covered. Fry breaded chicken on both sides until golden brown and cooked through - about 4 minutes per side. Remove from oil and place on paper towel.
Add arugula to dressing & tomato mixture and toss to coat. Place chicken cutlet on plate and top with a large mound of the salad. Squeeze lemon wedge over each portion and serve.