A Salad to Soothe a Sore Throat

by Travis Metzger |

A Salad to Soothe a Sore Throat

Mixed Greens with Smoked Trout, Honey Roasted Shallots, Parmigiano-Reggiano Crisps and a Fresh Mint Vinaigrette

This recipe is an example of how you can make a cold salad more middle burner friendly by adding ingredients that are neutral, warming or hot.

The main ingredient in the vinaigrette for this salad is particularly interesting, mint can be more cooling in the peppermint form and more warming in the spearmint form.  Spearmint has a sweet and somewhat mild flavor while peppermint has a stronger, more prominent flavor that can overwhelm other flavors in the recipe, this is mostly due to the menthol component being significantly higher in peppermint.  Spearmint typically has a larger leaf that is a lighter color and grows closer to the ground with the leaves being closely bunched together.

Spearmint is also very easy to grow (or find wild). So if you find yourself with an abundance of spearmint on your hands, this is an excellent way to take advantage of your good fortune.

In Chinese medicine, mint is widely used to treat sore throats, headaches, and red, irritated eyes. It is described as being “pungent and cooling,” which means it is most appropriate for acute attacks of “wind and heat,” which loosely corresponds to certain types of upper respiratory track ailments. It also has “aromatic” and “rising” qualities that make it particularly effective for treating problems of the head and throat. Anyone suffering from a sore throat that has had a strong cup of mint tea knows just how soothing it can be.

Mint has some surprising uses too. Its dispersing properties make it effective in soothing Liver Qi, important for the regulation of the menstrual cycle and relieving the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome. (Mint is an ingredient in the classic formula Xiao Yao San, which Dao Labs sells as Emotional Balance.) Because of its aromatic qualities, mint can also break up dampness and relieve abdominal discomfort.

mint salad recipe

In the vinaigrette, we have balanced the cooling properties of the mint with the warming properties of jalapeño, cayenne, paprika, and shallots. The pungent qualities of these items make this salad even more useful for dispelling common colds. The trout and Parmesan crisps make this salad a meal. Its bright flavors may be just what you need to lift your mood, improve your digestion, and clear your head.

Mixed Greens with Smoked Trout, Honey Roasted Shallots, Parmigiano-Reggiano Crisps and a Fresh Mint Vinaigrette

Serving size

About 3

Prep Time / Cook Time

15 minutes / 30 minutes


  • 3 Handfuls Spring Mix - cooling
  • 7.5 Ounces Smoked Trout - Warm
  • 3 ½ Large Shallots - Warm
  • 3 Tablespoons Honey - neutral
  • 3 Ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano - neutral
  • 3 Handfuls Fresh Mint – peppermint more cooling, spearmint slightly warm
  • ½ Large Jalapeno - Hot
  • 1/3 Cup Rice Wine Vinegar - neutral
  • 1 Teaspoon Paprika - warm
  • ¼ Teaspoon cayenne - Hot
  • ½ Cup Canola Oil
  • Sea Salt
  • Fresh Cracked Black Pepper - Warm


Wash spring mix and set aside.

Remove bones from smoked trout and set aside.

Clean three of the shallots, quarter lengthwise, toss with honey and roast until tender and slightly golden, 20-30 minutes depending on size.

shallot recipe

Grate Parmigiano-Reggiano and using parchment paper, spread evenly into about nine each 2 ½ inch diameter portions.  Bake at 350 degrees until lightly golden, about 15 minutes.

Parmesan crisp recipe

To make the mint vinaigrette add the following to a blender:  Mint, half shallot, half of a jalapeno with seeds or more depending on size and how spicy you like it, paprika, cayenne, rice wine vinegar, sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper.  Start the blender, it might take a bit for it to begin pureeing, feel free to add a couple splashes of water and a bit of the oil to help get it started. Once it is pureeing nicely, slowly add the remainder of the oil to bring the vinaigrette together.  Adjust seasoning.

Have fun constructing your salad!

Dining with Culinary Artist Travis Metzger is an unforgettable experience. You can taste the passion, creativity and culinary expertise in each of Travis’s one-of-kind recipes. Most would agree that Traditional Chinese Medicine herbs in their original form taste less than delectable, but Travis has proven that TCM for today can taste great with DAO Labs. Travis develops unique flavors for each DAO formula to complement the proprietary blend of herbs and their health benefits. After extensive training at the New England Culinary Institute, Travis ran some of the finest restaurants across the country before starting his own in Minneapolis. To survive the stresses and physical challenges of the kitchen heat, Travis focused on combining natural ingredients for healthy AND delicious eating and juicing.

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