Purple Café and The Purple Chopped Salad
Some thoughts on a Seattle signature dish, alongside a copycat recipe.
If Paseo’s “Famous Caribbean Roast” is Seattle’s signature sandwich, Purple Café’s “Purple Chopped” deserves the distinction of being Seattle’s signature salad. The downtown eatery’s zesty, fresh dish has developed a cult following that, thanks to an online menu, is easy to replicate:
For the dressing (based on Cook’s Illustrated):
1 shallot, peeled and finely minced
1 clove garlic, peeled and finely minced
1/3 cup olive oil
1 lemon juiced
1 tsp Dijon mustard
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
Combine vigorously—I shake it in a mason jar.
For the salad, everything should be chopped very fine. I used a Cuisinart instead of a knife.
4 slices bacon
½ cup Gorgonzola
1 cup garbanzo beans
½ red onion
¼ cup sunflower seeds
3 leaves romaine lettuce
6 leaves iceberg lettuce (should be a one-to-one ratio with the romaine)
1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 avocado, sliced
Mix all the ingredients together with about four tablespoons of the dressing. Divide into two, three, or four bowls, top each with avocado slices, and serve.
For storage, keep each ingredient in a separate container and combine when ready.
Oh, and the rest of Purple’s food? It’s very good. My grilled Spanish octopus was light and flavorful, and the French onion soup balanced sweet flavors with Sherry well.
To illustrate, if you saw The Menu, I equate my knife skills to those of Nicholas Hoult.