Chopped Salad

I have a Favourite Salad which I make all the time. This year I’ve been switching it up a bit. Here in Nova Scotia, our growing season is short and late. Cucumbers are just coming on stream, and this year’s tomatoes are at least a month away. I’m using a combination of summer and winter vegetables to make a Chopped Salad. It has no lettuce or greens, just chunky raw vegetables, all of which will last for a week or more in the fridge without wilting or browning.

It is this easy. I choose a bunch of sturdy vegetables, whatever I have or is on sale. But no fragile ones like green onions, sprouts or juicy soft tomatoes.

Choose your veggies!

Choose your veggies!

I picked celery, carrots and cauliflower that were already in the fridge, and added broccoli, red pepper, radishes, zucchini and summer squash.

Then I peel stuff that needs to be peeled and chop off stuff that needs to be chopped off (tops, ends, etc.)

The chopping part

The chopping part

Then let the chopping commence! You know me, I try to make all the veggie pieces kinda the same size 🙂

Then the complicated step (ha, ha): mix ’em up!

The result:

Several pounds of chopped veg

Several pounds of chopped veg

If I were serving this to a group, I would stir in a bottle of salad dressing and let it marinate in the fridge.

For myself, I divide it up into 5 containers, each of which is a meal-sized salad. I have two ways I like to eat this: one is to add a handful of walnuts and some Greek salad dressing (oregano and feta). Delish! The other is with a creamy poppyseed dressing. It would also be good with some diced apples and raisins.

Best yet, if I have any left over at the end of the week, I can throw it into a stir fry!

Do you make any salads without leafy greens?


  1. EcoCatLady

    I am a HUGE fan of chopped salad. CatMan isn’t really a fan of greens, so I always make one for him… usually with cucumbers, peppers, snap peas & avocados. But they’re soooo wonderful to make ahead of time so that salad can be grab ‘n’ go rather than a big deal with lots of prep time. I sometimes add some juicy stuff when I serve it, or serve the chopped parts over a bed of leafy greens. I may have to try cauliflower & broccoli. I’m not generally a fan of either one raw, but perhaps if it was marinated I’d like it better.

  2. Do fruit salads count? 🙂 We love those, and hubby loves pasta salad – lots of chopped veggies, little chunks of cheese, random leftover pasta, and salad dressing.

    My favorite vegetable salads have greens, but I’m sure I would enjoy this one too. I have to agree with Cat about the cauliflower and broccoli, though – not a fan of either one raw. I’d have to try it all mixed together! And the idea of everything staying fresh throughout the week is very appealing 🙂

  3. oh that looks fab, I’m in need of ideas for some healthy foods,I generally tend to do conventional salad but this appeals to me, id add some nuts and maybe some fruit..yum…

  4. Gam Kau

    I haven’t tried this, but it is clever to leave out the greens. I find they wilt so quickly and are more difficult to wash/dry so I will definitely give this style of salad a go!

    • I like green salads too, but I only make a day’s worth at a time – not ideal for busy mornings getting ready for work. I usually separate, wash and dry a head of romaine and keep it ready in the fridge. When I can be bothered!

  5. I love salads. I prefer ones with greens. My go-to is mixed green salad leaves, cherry tomatoes cut in half with a balsamic dressing. Sometimes I add avocado, or Persian feta, or julienned carrots, or sliced Lebanese cucumbers, or all of them.

    Another fav is roast sweet potatoes with baby spinach.

    I’m not big on pasta salads, but they are often served here in Australia at BBQs.

    I don’t like nuts in my salads. And am joining Amanda and ECL in saying raw cauliflower and broccoli are not for me and wouldn’t make I into my salads. My family would probably exclaim WT? and wonder at my strange new concoction.

    • Luckily this is just for me – neither Rom nor Link would eat it! I like cucumbers and tomatoes in a Greek salad but am otherwise not a big fan (what is wrong with me?)

  6. love the look at that, it looks yummy

  7. Love the look of this salad. Like you, I would have put some extra effort to make sure everything can about the same size 🙂

    I’m currently loving the sweet kale salad I get from the Calgary Farmers Market though I haven’t tried making it at home yet. If I may ask, what’s you favorite brand of poppy seed dressing?

    • Hi Yetunde, I’m glad we think alike! I like the Kraft Calorie Wise Poppyseed Dressing. It is a grocery store brand and it doesn’t have good quality ingredients! But I like that it’s a little sweet and it isn’t based on a ranch dressing.

  8. I get tired of green salad pretty quickly this time of year – I’ll try this as soon as the zucchini and cucumbers are ready in the garden. Thanks for a great idea.

  9. …Salads? What’s that? That’s an odd concept for me. XD

    Seriously though, I seldom have salads. I try to… But I can’t do it. Salads wasn’t a common thing in my home growing up as Mom only cooked Chinese foods which meant every vegetable was stir-fried or steamed. Heh.

    • You know, when I was growing up, we never had salads either. Meals were always a piece of meat with boiled potatoes and carrots! The salads of the day were iceberg lettuce with tomatoes and cucumbers – and French (orange colour) dressing – which I still wouldn’t eat. I don’t think I ate salads much until I was over 30! That’s probably when I discovered romaine, green leaf, baby spinach, etc.

  10. Bailey

    Love your idea of chopped salad. For me the greens always go wonky so I tend to leave them out when I’m in salad mode. For me I like cucumber, snap peas, feta cheese crumbled, sunflower seeds for crunch and a bit of a creamy dressing. Can eat this by the bowl full.

  11. Holly

    I eat a whole lot of lettuce. I really really really (ok, can you tell I mean it?) like a lot of greens in my salads.
    However, I do like a grain salad or Asian noodle salad for dinner in the summer. Right now my absolute fave is red quinoa with cooked, chopped beets, raw chopped beet greens, cilantro and feta. With a miso dressing. Walnuts optional. This lasts about 4 days, even with the dressing pre-added. I use a small bit of dressing, so it looks dry buy kind of marinates and melds. Another good one is cukes, chopped romaine (can’t help myself), blueberries and corn. With a lemony tahini dressing.

  12. Fiona

    Ooh – I do love the idea of that as a great ‘working week’ salad. Much less likely to go all limp and nasty in a day or so. We’d eat all of that in a salad normally except for the raw broc and cauli (which we should incorporate.) We have learned a whole new way of eating in France. It is a very French approach to add something a little more decadent (goat’s cheese, nuts, saucisson) but only as a feature (not to ‘excess’, as often happens in Australia.)

    • Hmm, sounds like none of my blog readers are into raw broccoli and cauliflower – silly me, I thought everyone ate it! It sounds like your trip was transformative 🙂

  13. Totally with you on this one! When I used to work at the nursery, they used to chuck any leftover chopped veg at the end of the day for health and safety reasons (toddler fingers on vegetables I guess), but I would take it all home! I am not a germophobe and I am fairly certain I couldn’t get any more germs than I already had from those toddlers!!

  14. Very colorful and very good. It is also the easiest recipe I have ever seen. Thanks, BTG

  15. Love chopped salad. My favorite is broccoli, chopped small; add some feta cheese and some pine nuts (however much you want; more is better). Simple vinaigrette, made with grainy mustard (this is important. I’ve made it with and without the mustard and with is much better) This is my go-to for potlucks and it gets eaten to the last spoonful. I wish I could remember where I saw this, to give credit, but I can’t. 😦

  16. Shannon D.

    I guess I am one of the few that likes raw broccoli and cauliflower! Thanks for sharing this great concept! I like vegetables but don’t eat enough because I don’t take the time to prep them. The idea of leaving out the less hardy vegetables and preparing enough for the work week is a big help!

    • Thanks, Shannon. I hadn’t heard about chopped salads until this year and they make for a nice run of work lunches! (Other weeks I will wash and separate a big head of romaine and store it, but then I still need to make a new salad with it every day or two).

  17. Lane

    I love the look of that salad, and yes, another raw broc/caul eater ( although if you chop cauliflower and cook with some garlic, olive oil, tomatoes and a few red pepper flakes, it’s an awesome pasta sauce). My current fave salad grain is farro– never gets soggy like rice can, great flavor and texture. Last night I added some steamed corn cut from the cob, chopped blanched greenbeans from the garden, a cuke, some cherry tomatoes, basil and then a dressing I made with OO, lemon juice, bit of mustard and honey, sea salt and pepper. Threw in some chunks of smoked mozzarella. Vanished!

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