Thursday, January 16, 2014

The "Purple Chopped" Salad

We aren't typically people of repetition when it comes to dining. I was once asked to write down the top 20 meals I like to prepare for my family. I literally couldn't do it. I think I ran out of steam at #12. I'm the trier-of-all-things-new when it comes to food and there are only a handful of favorites that I have ever repeated. The same goes for restaurants. Life is short and you sometimes just want to try them all. But then you find that place you love, the place that hits a home run every time you go. And so you break all your rules and return. That's the Purple Cafe and Wine Bar for us. We've probably been there at least 7 times. SEVEN TIMES! A personal record for us. 

I'm pretty sure every time but once, we ordered their Purple Chopped Salad and I so totally regretted not getting it. It's filling and delicious and packed with so much topping good-ness that you hardly notice you are eating a salad. I always look forward to it with as much anticipation as dessert. Almost.

Imagine my delight when Graham requested the infamous Purple Chopped for his half birthday this week. Why had I never thought to attempt to recreate it before? I'm a by-the-books-follow-the-rules kind of person so making it up recipes and trying to mimic flavors has never been my forte but I'm trying! And I'm quite proud to report, I totally nailed this one. So, without further ado:

My "Purple Chopped" Salad 
3 hearts of romaine, chopped
1/2 small red onion, chopped small
1 cup garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
3 pieces of bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 roasted red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
1 avocado, diced
Fresh ground black pepper, to taste

Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing:
8 large garlic cloves, minced, about 2 Tablespoons
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 Tablespoon brown sugar
Kosher salt, to taste

To prepare salad:
Fill large bowl with lettuce and layer next 6 ingredients over top. Finish with a generous douse of fresh ground black pepper.

To prepare dressing:
Combine garlic and red pepper flakes in a large jar or salad dressing bottle. Cover with balsamic vinegar. Let sit for ~5-10 minutes. Add olive oil, brown sugar and salt, to taste. Shake well. 

To assemble:
Toss salad with a generous amount of balsamic vinaigrette. Save remaining dressing for a later use (there will be dressing left over). 

Serves 8


  1. Kelsie- oh my god! You nailed this recipe. Ive been scouring the internet for months for the purple chppped salad and this tasted exactly like it. I am so glad I can make this at home now! im sending this to all my friends. Thanks again!

  2. Bryndalyn,
    Isn't this salad the greatest? I'm so glad you enjoyed the recipe and am happy to hear you're passing it on!

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