Spring Chopped Salad // Not Without Salt

Spring Chopped Salad // Not Without Salt

Spring Chopped Salad // Not Without Salt

Spring Chopped Salad // Not Without Salt

I’m trying to give more thought to our table.

I put an actual tablecloth on it. I haven’t done that since we’ve had kids and quite honestly, I’m not sure I did it before then.

Pink petaled tulips sit in the middle of the table. Their slender stems bend slightly to catch the last bit of sun. I’ve pre-filled the MATCHING cups with water. The plates, however, are mismatched and the napkins are paper but hey, there’s napkins! And I’ve set the forks on them just like my mom taught me.

I’m not looking for Martha’s approval here. The point in setting the table is not for me to capture the perfect Instagram shot to garner as many “likes” as possible. I’m setting the table to mark this time. To remind myself and my family that when we gather around the table, together, over an elaborate meal or a simple one, it’s sacred. I want my kids to see me honoring this time so hopefully, they’ll feel the same way someday.

Sure, I can tell them how much I love sitting at the table with them. But sometimes words can only go so far. Sometimes creased napkins tucked under the plate just so and ruffly tulips leaning over our dinner or an expensive cloth draped over our dinged up table says more about the importance of our time around the table then my words ever can.

Spring Chopped Salad // Not Without Salt

Spring Chopped Salad // Not Without Salt

Spring Chopped Salad // Not Without Salt

Spring Chopped Salad // Not Without Salt


Spring Chopped Salad

Serves 4-6


This salad has happened many times in the last couple of weeks. The produce changes depending on what’s in the fridge or what looks good at the market. There’s always salami, specifically Finocchiona, sharp cheddar and a bright, shallot-laced vinaigrette that brings it all together.

Use this as a guide. It’s really the sort of meal that does a grab job of using up the leftover bits in the fridge. That’s actually how this salad came got its start.


5-6 cups cut, cleaned greens, cut in 1-inch ribbons (I used romaine & treviso)

1 cup blanched fresh (or frozen) peas

1 cup chopped fresh herbs (chives, mint, parsley)

4-5 radishes, chopped

1/2 avocado, diced

1 cup garbanzo beans

1 cup chopped sharp cheddar

1 cup chopped salami such as finocchiona

1/4 cup toasted pepitas


Other options:


red onion


blanched green beans


pickled peppers


Shallot and Cider Vinegar Vinaigrette

6 tablespoons olive oil

3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 garlic clove, minced

3 tablespoons finely chopped shallot

1 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled

pinch sugar

Salt and pepper to taste


Combine everything in a medium bowl and whisk.

Add all the salad components to a large bowl then toss with the dressing. Serve immediately.

43 Responses to “Spring Chopped Salad”

  1. Daytona

    Yes! Those details, even–no, especially–in their imperfections are little gifts to our families. On one evening a few months ago when I was having a rough day, I gave myself over to the task of cooking, trying to be aware during each step of the process. I took in the golden glow of the olive oil as it heated in the pan and breathed the warm, almost-metallic scent that the onions released as soon as I tipped them in. By the time I was setting the table, I found myself–and my day–transformed enough to see this as more than just another weeknight meal. I whispered a prayer over the table I was setting, that it would be a blessing to my little family who would be dining there soon. Sometimes it is in those little, unspoken gestures–even the tiniest hints of hospitality–where we offer love to those dear to our hearts. May everyone who dines at your table experience that to the fullest!

  2. Barbara


    Thank you for this recipe. I love salads. And I love them for several reasons. The main reason is that it’s simple to make them. And they are delicious.

    And also photos are so beautiful.



  3. Kathryn

    We have got really lazy recently at eating on our laps or on the coffee table in front of the TV (not least because of the three tonnes of crap on our dining table). But this has inspired me to try a little harder and to carve out time for sitting round the table and reveling in those every day moments.

  4. Gretchen @ Two Healthy Kitchens

    I love eating dinner as a family! We only eat in the kitchen (we have lighter carpet and I don’t want stains!) and we turn off the TV during dinnertime. With the hectic afternoons and evenings, it’s so refreshing to sit down and talk about our days over dinner.
    I recently started putting a tablecloth on the table (mostly to hide the scratches and dings on the table!) and it really does make it seem more like an occasion! You are totally right!

  5. Lisa @ Simple Pairings

    This salad is very much my cup of tea. I love all of the ingredients you chose – the radishes, the avocado, the salami – what a perfectly colorful and satisfying salad! Such a great lunch idea.

  6. cheri

    I think it is wonderful that you are creating such lovely memories for your children. It’s the little things that really matter. Great salad.

  7. La Torontoise

    Love this spring salad, can hardly wait to go back home and make it for dinner:-)
    Have a great weekend!

  8. Daisy

    Great great pictures!!! I can’t wait for your book to come out next year.

    I also see that the meatball and salad receipe is adapted from Tartine Bread. I am fortunate enough to live in San Francisco and Tartine Bakery’s bread is my fav!!! It made going glutenfree very difficult : )
    Keep up the good work.

  9. Christina @ but i'm hungry

    Beautiful thoughts on making meal-time special. We always eat together as a family, but it’s often at the kitchen counter, amidst the mess of dinner prep and mail and crayons. You’ve inspired me to get us back in the dining room, at least some of the time. 😉 Love this salad… it reminds me a lot of the chopped salad I had earmarked from my Mozza cookbook that I’ve been meaning to make for ages… I need to dig it out!

  10. Skye

    Your photographs are truly stunning. You’ve somehow turned a simple salad into a work of art of sorts. Maybe it was the magical tablecloth? 🙂
    PS Am now following you on Instagram – excited to see more snaps of beautifully laid tables! 🙂

  11. Laura

    I feel inspired! Both to eat salad and set the table – two things I don’t ordinarily get excited about.

  12. sara forte

    such gorgeous photos, love those colors. We’ve been on sort of a find-yourself-food program the last nine months but I miss the table and the matching plates. While we’ve never really made is overly special, it was enough so to mark the time – just like you said. Lighting a couple candles or using really serving tongs seemed to somehow make a difference…eat slower, talk and linger longer. Excited to be back to that. You have lucky kids.

  13. Kate

    Wow, lovely pictures, looks delicious. I would like to invite you to my blog, especially to “work lunches” category which treats about healthy, quick food to work.

  14. Cristina

    All I want these days are salads exactly like this one. Thank you for providing a great base, with room for adaptation. Also, I love the treviso photo!

  15. Ashley

    Absolutely love these photos + the light! So much contrast and vibrancy. And those little bebe fingers…oh goodness.

  16. Paul

    This Food Blogging site is very beautiful – Keep up the good work

  17. Eileen

    What a beautiful salad! I love the idea of adding in chopped salami–don’t think I’ve ever had that in a salad before. Super interesting!

  18. J.S. @ Sun Diego Eats

    Just got some finocchiona for a picnic yesterday its pretty good stuff.

    And totally agree about the ‘feel’ of having a set table. I think it validates the fact that you just put effort into preparing a meal and that this is in itself an event: time to slow down, sit, eat, have conversation, etc. I don’t do flowers because I have an orchid at the dining table but I like to light candles so its officially ‘dinner time’.

  19. Margaret@KitchenFrau

    In our house, too, it’s amazing to see how we all sit a little straighter, and linger a little longer when the table is set nicely. There’s something so warm and inviting and social about a lovely table. Even plain leftovers feel special. It’s SO worth the extra minute or two to pull out a few special touches to beautify the meal. I totally agree with you.

  20. Matthew J Malinowski

    I can’t wait to make this. I think I’ll add in a few of the other options, but the Shallot Vinaigrette sounds great. A good salad is a good salad, but to me, the dress is what pulls is all together! Thank!

  21. Tessa | Balancing Active

    Even though it’s just my boyfriend and I, I almost always do place settings, fill waters, turn off the TV, and generally forbid eating on the couch (which is 10 feet away). Sometimes I even involve placemats! I love the family dinner vibe it brings, whether you’re serving two or twelve.

  22. Julia

    Wow! This looks incredible! I’m always looking for substantial salad recipes. Can’t wait to try it out.

  23. Brian @ A Thought For Food

    We take our tablecloth out once, maybe twice a year… for large dinner parties or barbecues. Besides that, they stay in the closet. It would be nice to use them daily, but then how would we keep up with all of our television programs? 🙂

    I adore salads like this… ones that change depending on where you are in a season. So many possibilities.

  24. Shaina

    “I’m not looking for Martha’s approval here. The point in setting the table is not for me to capture the perfect Instagram shot to garner as many “likes” as possible. I’m setting the table to mark this time.” slow clap.

    The photos are stunning, as always, and the words are musical. Full of grace.

  25. Kiri

    It is salad season! This looks delicious. Will have to give it a try this week.