chopped salad

The Original Chopped Salad

Make a classic for Mother’s Day brunch. This version of the original chopped salad is the perfect addition to your menu.

Si Foster shares her recipe, and a sweet treat for dessert.

Find Si’s cookie recipe on her website,


The Original Chopped Salad



  • 1/2 cup *smoked salmon, chopped or broken apart and flaked
  • 2/3 cup freeze dried corn
  • 2/3 cup chopped arugula
  • 2/3 cup cooked Israeli couscous*
  • 1/2 cup diced tomato (Romas)
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil


  • 1/4 cup black currants*
  • 1/4 cup toasted and salted pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
  • 3 tablespoons ground Asiago cheese*


  • 1 cup Best Foods mayo
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk, shaken
  • 1 tablespoon grated Romano cheese*
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 12 basil leaves, about 1/2 cup very loosely packed
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • fresh ground sea salt and pepper


  1. Up to to two days ahead

    Make the dressing and refrigerate. To make the dressing, combine mayo, buttermilk, cheese,  juice of lemon, basil leaves and garlic in a blender. Pulse and blend on low until ingredients are mixed well. Add ground salt and pepper to taste.

    Cook the couscous according to package directions, you may skip the toasting of the couscous if you like the lighter appearance of the couscous. Refrigerate until ready to assemble salad.

  2. On day of serving:

    Chop the tomatoes and add balsamic, olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Set aside.

    Wash and chop the arugula. Set aside.

    To make the trail mix, combine the currants, pumpkin seeds and Asiago cheese and set aside.

    Assemble the salad by placing the individual components in strips on a platter or in a shallow bowl as shown in photos.

    Serve with dressing and toss at table.


  • Smoked Salmon. There are so many options. If you have the option to smoke salmon at home- do it! If not, buy from a reputable source. I like  refrigerated smoked salmon rather than canned or varieties sold on a shelf. If you are not a fan or simply cannot locate or afford smoked salmon,  chicken breast, cooked and chopped or bacon cooked and chopped will work as a substitute.
  • The couscous is usually lightly browned on the stovetop in a little olive oil. I don’t think it is necessary to brown the couscous. Follow package directions and cook the couscous in boiling water.
  • You may use any type of tomato, but less juicy varieties are better to avoid too much liquid in the salad.
  • Many grocery stores offer currants in bulk so you may purchase a smaller amount as opposed to buying a box in the baking section and only using a small portion.
  • I use fresh grated Parmesan instead of purchasing Romano and Asiago cheese because I almost always have it on hand.
  • Although the recipe calls for 2/3 of a cup of several ingredients, I use about 1 cup roughly measured.

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