Growing up, I was a pickle purist. The only pickle I truly liked was a kosher dill with extra garlic. But fortunately for me, I have since branched out. Chow chow or pickled green tomato relish was my gateway pickle to a whole new world. At this point, it’s difficult to find a pickle I don’t like. Bread and butter pickles and I are still touch-and-go, but other than that I’m across-the-board pro-pickle. So if I like them all why not pile them all in one place? And that place happens to be this Triple Pickle Chopped Salad with Torn Mozzarella. A salad that doubles down on what I think is everybody’s favorite parts of a salad – the pickle-y bits and the cheese. So without further ado, let’s tackle this briny wonder.
Now, obviously, this Triple Pickle Chopped Salad doesn’t have all the pickles. That would be insane. It does have my top three pickles: pickled cabbage, pickled beets, and my OG dill pickles. I doubled down on the vinegar by making a sub-sauce-inspired dressing and added a fruity tartness in the form of pomegranate arils. With so many bold flavors flying around it only seemed sensible to invite mellow fresh mozzarella to the party to act as a sort of creamy palette cleanser between punchy bites. The shaved Brussels sprouts bring volume and toothsomeness to the salad. And the sprouts also make this salad very Thanksgiving-appropriate. So now that you know the why, let’s tackle the how.
We’re going to start by roasting the beets. I used one large beet because it was huge. But you may need to use two or more if yours aren’t as mammoth. Drizzle the beet with olive oil and sprinkle it generously with salt. Wrap the beet in tin foil and pop it in the oven. Roast it for 1 hour or until fork-tender. If this is too much of a hassle, you can purchase precooked beets instead. Once the beet is cool enough to handle, peel away the skin. Chop the beets into 1-inch cubes and pack them into a jar. Set the jar aside. Next, grab a quarter of a head of red cabbage. Remove the core and chop the cabbage into big chunks. Tease the layers apart and pack the cabbage into a large jar. Set it aside as well.
Now, let’s make the pickling liquid. Pour equal parts water and white vinegar into a small saucepan. Add some salt and sugar and a few aromatics. I went with yellow mustard seed and black peppercorns. Add a couple of bay leaves and garlic cloves and place the saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring the mixture up to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Let simmer for 15 minutes. Take the mixture off of the heat and pour it over the cabbage and beet pieces right to the top. Let cool to room temperature and then screw the tops onto each jar. Pop the jars into the fridge overnight. Yes, this is another two-day salad. I’m sorry, I’m extra.
Okay, day two of this Triple Pickle Chopped Salad. I promise everything is easy from here. And really, if we’re being honest, making the pickled beets and cabbage wasn’t exactly hard either. Let’s start by whipping up a quick dressing. This dressing was lightly inspired by Italian sub sauce. Place a couple of cloves of minced garlic in a bowl. Add crushed red pepper flakes, salt, and dried oregano. Pour in apple cider vinegar and a little olive oil and there’s your dressing.
Next up, prepping the rest of the ingredients. Start by shaving some Brussels sprouts on a mandolin. For veggies as small as Brussels sprouts, I highly recommend using a safety glove. The tiny sprouts disappear quite quickly, you might find your fingertips closer to the blade a lot faster than you realize. This is probably the most monotonous portion of this recipe, so have a podcast or some solid tunes primed.
Once the sprouts are shaved, coarsely chop 3-4 dill pickles, dissect a pomegranate, and drain and rinse a can of chickpeas. Pile the sprouts into a large bowl. Add the pickled cabbage, beets, dill pickles, and chickpeas. Make sure you select a bowl much larger than the one that is pictured. And yes, I transferred everything to a larger bowl before evening attempting to toss this behemoth. I suppose this is a good time to warn you – this is a big salad. Invite friends or eat this dish for days. I chose the latter and was not mad. This salad holds up even after repeat visits.
Pour the dressing over all that glorious fresh and pickled veg and give it a toss. Now, grab a ball of fresh mozzarella and tear it to shreds. Disperse the shreds all over the surface of the salad and finish with a sprinkling of pomegranate arils. And that’s your salad done. From here, you can either serve this bad boy immediately or you can chill it in the fridge until you’re ready to eat.
And that’s everything you need to know about this Triple Pickle Chopped Salad. Briny excellence doesn’t even begin to cover it. This salad is a pickle lover’s dream come true!
Triple Pickle Chopped Salad with Torn Mozzarella
- 1 Large mason jar
- 1 small mason jar
- 1 mandoline
- 1 small saucepan
Pickled Cabbage and Beets
- 1 large beet
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1½ tsp salt divided
- 2 cloves garlic peeled and crushed
- 2 cups white vinegar
- 2 cups water
- 1 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 tsp yellow mustard seeds
- 1 tsp black peppercorns
- 2 bay leaves
- ¼ head red cabbage coarsely chopped
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ – 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- ½ ts dried oregano
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- 3 tbsp olive oil
Triple Pickle Chopped Salad
- 2 cups Brussels sprouts shaved thin on a mandoline
- 1 batch Pickled Cabbage and Beets see above, drained
- 3-4 large dill pickles diced
- 1 (540ml, 18oz) can chickpeas drained and rinsed
- 1 batch Salad Dressing see above
- 1 ball fresh mozzarella torn
- 1 cup pomegranates arils for sprinkling
For the Pickled Cabbage and Beets
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with tin foil and place the beet in the center. Drizzle the beet with the olive oil and sprinkle it with 1/2 a teaspoon of the salt. Wrap the tin foil around the beet and place it in the oven. Roast for 1 hour or until fork-tender.1 large beet, 1 tbsp olive oil, 1½ tsp salt
- When the beet is finished roasting, take it out of the oven and carefully unwrap it. Set it aside to cool. When the beet is cool enough to handle, peel it and cut it into 1-inch pieces. Pack them into a small Mason jar and set them aside.
- In a small saucepan whisk to combine the garlic, vinegar, water, sugar, mustard seed, peppercorns, bay leaves, and the remaining salt. Place the pan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Take it off of the heat.2 cloves garlic, 2 cups white vinegar, 2 cups water, 1 tbsp granulated sugar, 1 tsp yellow mustard seeds, 1 tsp black peppercorns, 2 bay leaves
- Pack the cabbage into a large mason jar and pour the pickling liquid over top until the cabbage is fully immersed. ** Pour the remaining pickling liquid over the beets and leave both of the jars to cool to room temperature. Place the lids on the jars and transfer them to the fridge. Let pickle overnight.¼ head red cabbage
For the Salad Dressing
- Place all the dressing ingredients in a bowl and whisk to combine. Set aside until ready to serve.1 clove garlic, 1 tsp salt, ½ – 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes, ½ ts dried oregano, ¼ cup apple cider vinegar, 3 tbsp olive oil
For the Salad
- Place the sprouts, pickled cabbage and beets, dill pickles, and chickpeas in a large bowl. Pour the dressing overtop and toss to coat.2 cups Brussels sprouts, 1 batch Pickled Cabbage and Beets, 3-4 large dill pickles, 1 (540ml, 18oz) can chickpeas, 1 batch Salad Dressing
- Transfer the salad to a large serving bowl and top with the mozzarella and pomegranate arils. Serve immediately or chill until ready to serve.***1 ball fresh mozzarella, 1 cup pomegranates arils