Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Cowboy Ciao Stetson Chopped Salad

There's a restaurant in Old Town Scottsdale called Cowboy Ciao that serves the yummiest chopped salad.  I've had it several times, but it never dawned on me (until just recently) to look up the recipe online so I can make it at home...and I'm glad I did because it is sooooooooo good!  Although the salad itself contains some unique ingredients, it is pretty easy to put together.  It's the dressing that takes a little bit more work, but in my opinion it's worth it!  

It even looks pretty :).  This is how they serve it at the restaurant...and then they pour the dressing over it and toss it at your table.  Their original chopped salad is served with smoked salmon, but it can be ordered with chicken.  I like both, but I chose to make it with chicken.

I found several recipes online and they were all similar, but I pretty much followed this one on Flickr that is a printout from the actual restaurant!  The dressing recipe makes a lot so I halved it...was plenty to serve 2 and have some leftover.  

So here is the recipe for the salad (serves 2):

2/3 cup cooked chicken breast, diced (or smoked salmon)
1/2 cup Israeli 'pearl' Cous Cous, cooked according to package
1/2 cup arugula, chopped
1/4 cup pepitas (toasted pumpkin seeds)**
1/4 cup black currants**
1/4 cup Asiago cheese, crumbled**
1/2 cup super sweet dried corn
1/2 cup Roma tomato, diced

**combine these 3 items and use as 1 row of the salad.
Arrange the above ingredients into 6 rows on 2 plates or large shallow bowls.

Recipe for the Pesto Buttermilk Dressing:

1/4 cup basil pesto*
1/2 shallot, roughly chopped
1/2 cup aioli*
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 tsp coarse pepper
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
salt & pepper to taste

*I actually made my own basil pesto and aioli, which is probably why the dressing seemed so time consuming.  Next time I will use prepared basil pesto, which I found at Trader Joe's.  You can make your own simple aioli by mixing 1/4 cup mayo, 1/3 cup olive oil and 1/2 Tbsp minced garlic in a food processor.

For the dressing, combine basil pesto, shallot and aioli in a food processor and blend.  With the motor running, add buttermilk and the rest of the ingredients...mix well.  It will keep for up to 3 days in the refrigerator.

Serve dressing on the side...when you are ready to feast, pour it over the salad and toss.  DELICIOUS!!!

1 comment:

  1. Funny! Someone mentioned this salad to me not too long ago..that I must try it! It looks amazing.