Chopped Salad w/Blue Cheese Dressing – My Nepenthe

We’re half way through April 2011. How did that happen? Are we the only ones feeling like we should still be in February? From the sound of all the snow falling throughout the cold regions of the country, we certainly should be in February!

Obviously we’ve been hammered with work and we’re definitely not complaining. It’s been a wild and wonderful ride so far this year. With some ups and downs lately, we’ve been able to pick up and start over again and we still love our job.

With so much time away from the garden, it’s always such a treat to see Spring vegetables explode in the recent warm weather. Unfortunately, we haven’t been able to keep up with some of the radishes that have been flowering faster than we can eat them. Luckily, the wonderful thing about about radishes is that they sprout and swell so quickly. Within a few weeks we can have basket full of tender, bite sized radish roots. What a culinary treat and gardeners dream they are.

Napa cabbage makes a wonderful chopped salad

With the greens still thriving before we hit the springtime/summer heat, it is a perfect time for a chopped salad. A little crunch and spice from the radishes, a little green roughage, and an herb laden blue cheese dressing… how perfect of a spring salad is that. Delicious!

This dressing is an adaption from My Nepenthe, a cookbook/memoir of the funkadelic, gastronomic Big Sur institution, Nepenthe. It is really good. But just about anything with blue cheese is really good.  It’s kinda like pork belly or bacon. Automatic gastro love.

Sierra guarding the precious radishes

Squirrels might steal the radishes

Radish protector

Chopped Salad with Blue Cheese Dressing

Yield: Serves 4-6.

Total Time: 5 minutes

Dressing adapted from My Nepenthe. Feel free to substitute whatever your favorite chopped salad ingredients for the salad part.  The dressing is the champion of this recipe.


Blue Cheese Dressing

  • 2 Garlic Cloves, crushed
  • 2 t finely chopped Basil
  • 2 t finely chopped Oregano
  • 2 t Hot Mustard Powder
  • 2 t fresh cracked Black Pepper
  • 2 t Brown Sugar
  • 1 t Sea Salt
  • 6 oz (170g) Blue Cheese, crumbled
  • 2/3 c (155ml) Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1/2 c (120ml) Olive Oil
  • 1 c (235ml) Grape Seed Oil (or canola oil)

For the salad:

  • about 3 cups of chopped napa cabbage or regular cabbage
  • fresh radishes or other vegetables, chopped


  1. Assemble all the dressing ingredients in a large bowl or jar. Combine well.
  2. Toss dressing over cabbage and vegetables.
Recipe Source:

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Recipe Note for Salt: All recipes containing salt are based on kosher or sea salt amounts, not table salt. If using table salt, reduce the amount used to taste.


{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }
  1. Liz

    Hi! I have a question about napa cabbage, I have never used it before and I noticed when I got mine home there were little brown spots on the leaves towards the root…what is that and is it safe to eat? Until I found out I had to err on the side of caution and I cut all those pieces out! I HAD to make this salad though, since I saw the pictures yesterday I couldnt stop thinking about it…it looks gorgeous with all those fat pieces of blue cheese (I LOVE blue cheese!) so I had to go to the store tonight to get the cabbage & radishes (Im a radish convert) and I also picked up some carrots. I sliced them both thin with the madolin (I know, it doesnt count as the “chopped” salad) but the dressing…OH the dressing! So fabulous! Cant wait until lunch time tomorrow!

  2. Magic of Spice

    Sierra is just too precious…I would guard those babies too 🙂 Great salad and love this dressing, lovely.

  3. Dream

    Made the dressing last night and it was delicious. Big thanks for the recipe!

  4. Lisa { AuthenticSuburbanGourmet }

    First – your doggie is super cute and a perfect subject to photograph! This salad is amazing and a must make! Thank you for sharing.

  5. Kankana

    I must say Sierra is super photogenic 🙂 This salad looks very delicious and i always enjoy Napa cabbage in salad.

  6. norma

    What a great recipe for dressing. Radishes are so good. I am always munching on them. Beautiful pictures and a great looking dog.

  7. Lori Lynn

    It’s been many years since I visited breathtaking Nepenthe. Your salad looks perfect, I can visualize it being served on their deck overlooking the blue Pacific.
    Wilson sends regards to Sierra…
    Wishing you a wonderful Easter.

  8. Christine

    Love, L.O.V.E. blue cheese, so I will be making this dressing shortly! And Sierra is so cute as the radish protector but as another commenter said, probably not so much a blue cheese protector. Lol!

  9. Helene

    Everytime you put a pup in a post I am like “oohh ahhh”…dog peeps…we’re incorrigible and that’s fine by me 🙂
    I planted radishes this year. My first “serious” planted item beside herbs and only motivated by my stroll through your garden last year. It’s growing. Slowly but steadily. Baby steps!

    The salad does scream Spring loud and clear! Gorgeous colors and light.

  10. Snippets of Thyme

    Seriously. I have just started eating radishes this year. I would never touch them but for some reason their beauty got me. Not bad! I could use a nice salad like this. I made around 100 cupcakes today and several landed in “la bouche”. Wonderful photos. I am really enjoying your site.

  11. Michelle

    My radishes grow so fast, it is wonderful but also inundates us with a heck of a lot of radish to consume. Thank goodness I can handle the task!

  12. Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga)

    The dressing, salad, photography…all just sooo wonderful looking.

    I also love how you use wood in so many of your photographs. I am just realizing how wonderful wood + food can be together in the past few weeks!

  13. Lindsey Morningstar

    Two weekends ago my husband and I went to Big Sur and dined at Nepenthe. Besides the views (which literally made my heart sing) the food was amazing and the wine list was divine. I’ll just have to make this salad so I can daydream about being back there…

  14. lisa dowling

    We are growing (perhaps the same) similar looking radishes. My neighbor and I share our veggie patch tucked into the side of our house facing an alley and when I’m out there working the soil I always get people stopping to chat about herbs and bugs. It’s fun to pluck a radish out, give it a quick rinse, and offer it to a stranger. 🙂 We like those radishes cut paper thin and perched atop salted butter on a slice of french bread. Divine!

  15. laura @ glutton for nourishment

    i love the sound of this salad, and the dressing. napa cabbage and radishes make an amazing combo. cute dog, too!

  16. Maris (In Good Taste)

    Is your radish protector a boxer? My mom has a boxer and they are the greatest dog! Chopped salad has always been a favorite of mine and this one looks delicious!

  17. Shaina

    I have a blue cheese dressing I make, but I’m switching it up for this one this week sometime. It looks too good to pass on. I need to get a garden protector as loyal as yours. The squirrels here are relentless, and I haven’t even planted a single thing yet.

  18. ShopCookMake

    That dog is so cute!!!

  19. seoulinthecity

    hello, just wanted to say i love your blog! stunning photos, delicious recipes:)
    sarah from seoulinthecity

  20. Charles G Thompson

    I love My Nepenthe! (the place and the book). I haven’t tried this recipe yet but I will. Beautiful photos as always.

  21. Candela

    Sierra! I just fall in love with that sweety look !! 🙂

  22. DessertForTwo

    So lovely that you featured a My Nepenthe recipe! That area of California is my absolute favorite place to be. Everytime I eat there, I say I’m going to order something besides the burger but I never do. Thank heavens for the cookbook! Do y’all like the Big Sur Bakery too? Another gem!

    Have a great day 🙂

  23. Donna A.

    The photos are so rad! As in rad-ishly radical. Hope we see more of Sierra.

  24. JulieD

    I love blue cheese too! Sierra is too cute! I’m going to try this recipe. Thanks so much!

  25. Carolyn Binder

    I’ll bet Sierra wouldn’t protect the blue cheese nearly as well! This is a smiley post! Enjoy your garden.

  26. Jen Yu

    I just ate there – the day before we had ramen together! 🙂 I don’t even like blue cheese and your post is making me crave blue cheese. wth?! Sierra is the cutest EVAR! xo

  27. TheFromagette

    Beautiful pics! Can’t wait for my first radish of the season…

  28. Helene

    The pictures of your dog are so cute! Always loved radishes, even radishes sandwiches. I really like your plates 🙂

  29. EatLiveRun

    I have that cookbook and love it! it’s one of my foodie dreams to actually eat at the restaurant!

  30. TheKitchenWitch

    I am in love with the Radish Protector! Obviously, it’s a serious job!

    I’m with you on bleu cheese–makes everything mo betta!

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