Here in Phoenix we have a restaurant called The Gladly. And at The Gladly they serve an amazing chopped salad. Like, beyond amazing. So amazing, in fact, that some refer to it as our “State Salad” as though that’s a thing. It even has its own Facebook page.
Their version of the chopped salad is as delicious as it is unique. For the greens, the chose to showcase bright, peppery arugula. For a bright burst of flavor, they add diced tomatoes marinated with balsamic and basil. Then, they finish it off with hearty Israeli couscous and umami-packed smoked salmon. For crunch, not only do you get a sweet-and-salty trail mix, but they also throw in some crunchy freeze-dried corn too.
Although freeze-dried corn may seem like crazy astronaut food, I’ve seen it both at Trader Joe’s and my local Safeway grocery store (they stash it near the dried fruit). No specialty shops needed. Smoked salmon was also easy to find at both Trader Joe’s and my regular grocery store as well, so you’ve got no excuses to drag your feet on making this thing. Ok, guys?
To finish, they top it with a creamy basil dressing and toss it tableside just for you. These guys aren’t messing around. Here’s the real deal from my visit to the restaurant.
And, here’s my sad attempt at recreating the salad above.
You may be thinking I’m crazy, but I promise that once you try this salad you will understand my enthusiasm.
Below is my version of the recipe, with proportions adapted to suit my own tastes. You can see the original recipe here. You can do as I did, and adjust the ingredients to suit your own self – more arugula? Go for it. Less couscous? I won’t judge. Afraid of smoked salmon? Sub in some smoky bacon instead.
- 2.5 ounces arugula, chopped
- 1 ounce smoked salmon, diced
- 2/3 cup freeze-dried corn
- 2/3 cup cooked israeli couscous
- Trail mix (recipe below)
- Tomato mix (recipe below)
- 2 roma tomatoes, diced
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 large basil leaf, chiffonade
- pinch of salt and pepper
- 1/4 cup black currants
- 1/4 cup toasted pepitas
- 3 tablespoons (appx 1/2 ounce) asiago, finely grated
- 1 cup mayo
- 1/3 cup buttermilk
- 1 tablespoon pecorino romano, grated
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 12 basil leafs
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Combine dressing ingredients in a food processor or blender and process until smooth and creamy. Add salt and pepper to taste. If the dressing is too thick, add more buttermilk to suit your tastes.
- Toss black currants, pepitas, and asiago in a small bowl; set aside.
- Toss diced tomatoes with vinegar, olive oil, basil chiffonade, and pinch of salt and pepper; set aside.
- If you want it to be pretty, line up the salad ingredients in order of: salmon, couscous, arugula, trail mix, corn, tomatoes. Add dressing and toss to coat just before eating.
This recipe can make two small salads or 1 large salad. If you want more or less of any part of the salad, you can adjust the proportions to suit your tastes.
[ Recipe adapted from The Gladly’s Original Chopped Salad Recipe ]