This weeks “mystery basket” combines some of my favorite foods; parsnips, the slightly sweeter cousin of the carrot, peaches, the sweet summer fruit with the fuzzy skin, kale, the super food packed with vitamins, and salmon, high in omega-3’s and nicknamed “the happy fish” for its depression fighting, mood elevating benefits!
Who wouldn’t want to eat a dish that provides an abundance of vitamins, makes you happy and is also delicious?
I decided to re-create my favorite dish from the lunch menu at Shade Hotel in Manhattan Beach, the Chopped Salad, served with smoked salmon, tomatoes, couscous and parmesan. To the salad I added dates, parsnips and kale. I incorporated the kale and parsnips by roasting them to add an extra crunch to the salad! I then turned those beautiful orange peaches into a lovely vinaigrette dressing.
The final result of “Chopped Challenge Thursday” Week Six: Smoked Salmon Roasted Kale and Parsnip Chopped Salad with Peach Basil Vinaigrette.
Ingredients – Chopped Salad
- 1 cup kale
- 1/2 lb (2 medium) parsnips
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 cup couscous
- 9 oz romaine lettuce
- 2 tomatoes
- 1/4 cup dates
- 4 oz smoked salmon
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
Basil peach vinaigrette
- 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 peach (peeled, pitted and chopped)
- 1 tbsp fresh basil (chopped)
- 1 clove garlic (minced)
- 1 tbsp honey
Begin by chopping the kale (warning: there’s going to be a lot of chopping in this salad, hence the name!) Remove the thick “stem ribs” and discard.
Next, chop the parsnips and place on a rimmed baking sheet with the chopped kale. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Place in a 400° oven for 15 minutes.
In the mean time, make the peach basil vinaigrette. Combine all of the ingredients in a blender or food processor.
Blend until all of the ingredients are combined well and the vinaigrette has a smooth consistency.
Place in the refrigerator to chill while you prepare the rest of the salad.
In a small saucepan bring 3/4 cup of water to boil on the stove. Add the couscous to the boiling water, stir, cover, remove from the heat and let stand 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, did you know that Couscous was elected as the third favorite dish of French people in 2011? Neither did I, but now I do and so do you, thanks for the super important 411 on the popularity of couscous Wikipedia!
Next, get that knife back out and chop the romaine lettuce, tomatoes, dates and smoked salmon. Add to a large mixing bowl.
Just ignore those pumpkin seeds floating around in there. After trying the salad I decided they weren’t necessary and removed them from the dish. Now if you are a crazy pumpkin seed fan, go right ahead and throw them back in there!
Next, fluff the couscous with a fork and add it to the mix.
By this time the kale and parsnips should be roasted and ready to top the salad. The kale shrinks down to a miniature version of its former self, but don’t worry, it’s supposed to do that!
Toss everything together in the large mixing bowl, then transfer to a serving bowl and drizzle with the peach vinaigrette dressing.
Isn’t she a beauty?
Check out those lovely layers of deliciousness!
Use the serving spoons to place this delicious salad into serving bowls.
Serve as a side salad for 4-6 people or split in half and share an entrée sized portion with a friend 🙂
I chose the first option and shared this delicious salad with friends and roommates at Tuesday nights “family dinner” alongside grilled cheeseburgers and fresh fruit.
What are you waiting for? Grab a fork and dig in!
If you haven’t already, don’t forget to enter the giveaway going on this week at LLB to win FREE Longaberger Pottery!
♣ Vegetarian Option: Omit the smoked salmon to make this recipe vegetarian.
♦ Gluten Free Option: Substitute brown rice couscous or another gluten-free variety of the grain to make this recipe gluten-free.