I wish I knew about this salad so long ago. It’s inspired by a salad I found at M Cafe de Chaya that’s a bit fancier – with tempeh bacon, beets, and a vegan “Ranch” dressing. But, after spending way more than I should ever be spending on salads, I decided to make my own version, the Healthy Chopped Salad with Buttermilk-Peppercorn Dressing recipe.
And now? Now, it goes with me everywhere. It’s a vegetarian take on a chopped salad that’s hearty enough to be a meal and substantial enough to be touted from the airport to your next road trip or next picnic. And the dressing? It’s a classic buttermilk dressing with such a flourish of peppercorns that it does that hot-cold, spicy-cool thing like a good raita. Know what I mean?
Healthy Chopped Salad with Buttermilk-Peppercorn Dressing Recipe
- 7 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar divided
- 3 tablespoons, plus 3/4 teaspoon granulated sugar divided
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt divided
- 1/2 pound carrots trimmed and sliced paper thin
- 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1/3 cup well-shaken buttermilk
- 3/4 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
- 6 ounces spicy mixed greens such as baby spinach, tatsoi, arugula, frisée, and mustard greens
- 1 handful roasted salted almonds or cashews
- 1 medium firm-ripe avocado finely chopped
- 1 1/2 cups fresh cooked chickpeas (or one 16-ounce can)
- 2 Persian cucumbers trimmed and sliced into half moons
- 1 bunch radishes trimmed and sliced into half moons
- Make The Quick Pickled Carrots: Stir together 6 tablespoons of the vinegar, 3 tablespoons of the sugar, and 1 teaspoon of the salt until well combined. Add the carrots and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate until the carrots are sweet-sour pickle flavored, about 15 minutes. Drain off the pickling liquid and set aside.
- Make The Buttermilk Dressing: Combine the Greek yogurt, buttermilk, 1 tablespoon of the vinegar, 1 teaspoon of the salt, the black pepper, and 3/4 teaspoon of the sugar in a medium nonreactive bowl and whisk until smooth and evenly combined. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired.
- Serve The Chopped Salad: Place the greens in a large serving bowl (or individual bowls if you’d prefer) and arrange the pickled carrots, almonds, avocado, chickpeas, cucumber, and radishes on top. Drizzle with a few spoonfuls of the dressing and serve.