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Stetson Chopped Salad from Cowboy Caio

Apr 24 2013

by Jennifer Glover

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Right after the first of the year, I went out to Arizona and got to visit with a couple dear friends that live out there. One of the nights I had dinner with my friend Jocelyn of the beautiful design and lifestyle blog, The Little Room of Style. She took me to a cute little spot in Scottsdale called Cowboy Ciao. The dinner was great, but the main thing that stood out was the Stetson Chopped Salad. I can’t even begin to tell you how ridiculously good this salad was! The waiter clearly honed in on my enthusiasm because he brought me not one, but two copies of the recipe to take home. I’ve already made it once and I have a feeling this will be in the standard lunch/dinner rotation from here on out.

The salad is served with a pesto buttermilk dressing, which was perfect because I had some pesto I wanted to use. I’ll give you this recipe and then on Friday, I’ll have another recipe using pesto. Ok, getting back to the dressing, I didn’t like the amount of mayonnaise that the recipe initially called for, so I used…you guessed it!…greek yogurt. Love me some greek yogurt!

You can get really creative with this salad too. If there’s something in it you don’t care for or can’t find, mix it up and add something that suits your taste!

The idea of the salad is to layer it on the plate and then mix it all up with the dressing. It makes for a pretty dish if you want to serve it at a dinner party.

Stetson Salad with Pesto Buttermilk Dressing

adapted from Cowboy Ciao’s recipe

1/2 cup israeli couscous, cooked

1/2 cup arugula, chopped

1/3 cup roma tomatoes, diced

1/2 cup diced avocado

1/3 cup asiago cheese (I used parmesan, it’s what I had on hand)

1/4 cup pumpkin seeds (pepitas)

1/4 cup black currants

1/3 cup super sweet dried corn

Pesto Buttermilk Dressing

1/2 cup pesto

1 shallot, roughly chopped

1 cup fat free greek yogurt

1 cup buttermilk

1/2 teaspoon coarse black pepper

1/2 lemon, juice of

salt & pepper

For the salad: Cook the couscous according to package directions. For added flavor, cook it in broth (vegetable or chicken). Let it cool completely. On a large platter line up couscous, torn up arugula, chopped tomatoes, avocado, cheese, pumpkin seeds, currants and dried corn.

For the dressing: Combine the pesto, shallot, yogurt, buttermilk, pepper lemon juice and a pinch of salt in a blender and blend until smooth.

Right before serving, drizzle the dressing over the salad and mix it up.

**Instead of or in addition to the avocado, you can use smoked salmon. This is one of the options on the menu when you order it. If you can’t find dried sweet corn, use frozen corn. Cook it according to package directions and let it cool completely before adding it to the platter.

Also, buying buttermilk can sometimes be a waste. If you don’t want to buy a whole carton, you can use 1 cup of regular milk and add 1 Tbsp of white vinegar to it. Let it sit for about 5 minutes before using.

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