Cherry Chopped Salad with Maple-Mustard Dressing is the perfect make-ahead summertime salad. Brussels sprouts, radicchio, quinoa, fresh cherries, and goat cheese create a vegetarian, protein-rich lunch or side dish. This easy recipe combines peak-summer produce with tangy cheese and pecans for a hearty, yet healthy chopped salad. Quinoa amps up the protein, and cherries add loads of antioxidants. Tossed in a bright and bracing maple-mustard dressing, it’s the ultimate fruit-studded salad.
Enjoy this simple salad for weekday lunches, weekend cookouts, or as a simple side dish!
How to Make a Chopped Salad:
In short, chopped salads are super simple as long as you don’t mind some slicing and dicing. The key is to cut all of the ingredients into bite-sized pieces so that they can fit into one forkful. For the Brussels sprouts, I shred them on a mandoline for ease and convenience. However, you can also use a chef’s knife to finely slice them cross-wise into thin shards.
Most often, chopped salads include a cheese for rich, creaminess and a nut for classic crunch. I love the combination of goat cheese and pecans in this recipe because of their inherent sweetness. However, chunks of mozzarella or sliced almonds would also be delicious.
What are the Benefits of Eating Cherries?
Cherries are supercharged with a wide range of health benefits to help protect against disease and aid in exercise recovery. They’re especially praised for their anti-inflammatory properties, thanks to high amounts of polyphenols and vitamin C. Additionally, cherries are packed with anthocyanins, which give them their deep red color. These compounds may help protect against heart disease, cancers, and even obesity. In addition, these compounds in cherries also offer brain-boosting capabilities.
Homemade Maple-Mustard Dressing:
This all-purpose dressing comes together in 5 minutes flat, which makes it one of my go-to’s. Plus, it’s delicious on pretty much any salad, be it the main event or a simple side dish. The deep sweetness of maple syrup is a great compliment to the sharpness of Dijon mustard. Just be sure to use a quality olive oil, which can be the game changer in a homemade dressing. Something bright, grassy, and a little fruity is ideal here. Look for opaque tins or dark glass bottles that block out light, which makes oil spoil faster.Lastly, if you give this recipe a try, be sure to tag #dishingouthealth so I can see your beautiful creations!
Other Simple Summer Salad Recipes:
- ¾ cup dry red quinoa
- 1 lb. Brussels sprouts, trimmed and shredded
- ½ head radicchio, finely chopped
- 1½ cups fresh cherries, pitted and halved
- ½ cup pecan halves, roughly chopped
- 1 tsp. kosher salt, divided
- 2 Tbsp. pure maple syrup
- 1½ Tbsp. Dijon mustard
- 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
- ½ tsp. black pepper
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 Tbsp. fresh thyme leaves
- 4 oz. crumbled goat cheese
- Cook quinoa according to package instructions in salted water or vegetable broth. Let cool until close to room temperature. Transfer to a large bowl.
- Add Brussels, radicchio, cherries, pecans, and ½ tsp. of the salt; toss to combine.
- Combine maple syrup, mustard, vinegar, remaining ½ tsp. salt, and black pepper in a bowl; stir with a whisk. Gradually stream in olive oil, whisking continuously. Stir in thyme and pour dressing over salad; toss to combine. Top salad with goat cheese and serve.