Chopped Salad with Herb Buttermilk Dressing

This is a wonderful main dish chopped salad recipe with a rainbow of healthy ingredients and a bright, tangy buttermilk dressing. Easily vegetarian or gluten-free |

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A wonderful main dish salad recipe with a rainbow of healthy ingredients and a bright, tangy buttermilk dressing. Perfect for brunch.


  • 1 1/2 cups cooked Israeli couscous, cooled (from 1/2 cup uncooked) (or substitute 1 1/2 cups cooked farro, or arborio rice or quinoa)
  • 4-6 ounces smoked turkey, diced (substitute cubed avocado, smoked salmon, smoked ham, grilled chicken or steak)
  • 1/2 cup shredded asiago cheese (substitute shredded parmesan or pecorino)
  • 1/3 cup dried sweetened cranberries (or substitute currants, raisins or chopped dried apricots)
  • 1/3 cup toasted pumpkin seeds (or substitute toasted nuts - pine nuts or slivered almonds or your favorite toasted nuts or seeds)
  • 1 dry pint sweet cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked sweet corn kernels, cooled
  • 4 cups loosely packed arugula leaves, chopped (3 ounces)
  • Buttermilk Dressing:
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup sherry vinegar or good quality white wine vinegar
  • 1 large clove of garlic
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped chives (or substitute scallions or shallots)
  • 1/4 cup chopped basil (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt or fine sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  1. Make the dressing: Combine buttermilk and vinegar in a jar or bowl. Use a garlic press to squeeze garlic into the mixture. Gradually whisk in the olive oil, then the herbs and salt. Season with black pepper, to taste. (Can be made up to a day ahead. Store in the fridge. Bring to room temp before using)
  2. Assemble the Salad: In a large shallow bowl arrange ingredients into stripes. You can use a spatula as a divider, to help create crisp lines, as you add one ingredient next to another. (The salad can be arranged a few hours ahead. Cover and keep in the fridge. Bring to room temp before dressing and serving)
  3. When ready to serve, toss with dressing.


[This post first appeared on Panning The Globe in June 2017.  It was updated in July 2019 with added nutritional information and more details added to the written post]

Keywords: chopped salad, rainbow chopped salad