clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
Smoked Salmon chopped salad with ingredients all in rows, like a cobb salad.

Smoked Salmon Chopped Salad with Pesto-Buttermilk Dressing

  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free



Pesto Buttermilk Dressing

  • 1/4 cup Spinach Basil Pesto (can substitute purchased basil pesto)
  • 1/2 shallot, chopped
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise (I like to use mayonnaise made with olive oil)
  • 1/2 cup low fat buttermilk
  • squeeze of lemon
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Fresh ground pepper, to taste

Smoked Salmon Chopped Salad

  • 1 tablespoon lemon-flavored olive oil (can substitute plain olive oil)
  • 1/2 cup Israeli (pearl) couscous
  • 1/2 cup chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 ounces aged Asiago cheese, crumbled
  • 1/3 cup toasted pepitas (Mexican pumpkin seeds)
  • 1/3 cup currants
  • 2 cups chopped seeded plum tomatoes
  • 2 cups chopped baby arugula
  • 1 1/2 cups corn kernels (see Notes below)
  • 8 ounces chopped smoked salmon (see Notes below)


Pesto Buttermilk Dressing

  1. Place the pesto, shallot and mayonnaise in a food processor and blend.
  2. With the motor running, pour in the buttermilk. Add lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Blend.
  3. Cover and place in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour before using.

Smoked Salmon Chopped Salad

  1. In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Stir in the Israeli couscous and cook until lightly browned, around 5 to 7 minutes.
  2. Stir in the broth and water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cook just until the couscous is al dente, around 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from heat, drain off any excess liquid and set aside to cool.
  3. In a small mixing bowl, stir together the cheese, pepitas and currants.
  4. On 6 shallow bowls or dinner plates (or one large platter), arrange the salad ingredients in rows in the following order – tomatoes, corn, cheese mixture, arugula, couscous and salmon.
  5. Pass the dressing on the side.


Note on corn: I like to use fresh, frozen organic that is thawed, or freeze-dried. The latter adds additional crunchy texture to the salad.

Note on salmon: You can use either honey smoked (which is usually a thicker piece) or gravlax-style – it’s delicious either way!

Make ahead: dressing and cheese mixture can be made up to 2 days ahead, placed in separate airtight containers and stored in the refrigerator.

Gluten free: Substitute quinoa for the couscous. Use gluten free mayonnaise.

  • Author: Adapted from Cowboy Ciao Restaurant's Recipe
  • Category: Main dish, gluten free