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For our Meatless Monday classes this summer, one of the favorites has been this salad. An adaptation of the iconic Stetson Chopped Salad from Cowboy Ciao, which has been open on Stetson Drive in Old Town Scottsdale for 15 years.

Traditionally the salad has a row of chopped smoked salmon. We have left it out to make it a vegetarian dish.  If you would like to make it the Cowboy Ciao way, (which is exactly what I would do!!) add in 4 ounces of diced smoked salmon as the last row of the salad.

The photo above is the salad at Cowboy Ciao. It is an individual serving, brought to the table with the dressing on two spoons, ready for you to toss in as you like.

This recipe makes enough for 8 and is also brought to the table to have the dressing added at the last minute and then served family-style.

The dried sweet corn called for in the recipe was harder to find than I expected. I knew I had seen it before at some store or another, but when I went to look for it, it was nowhere to be found. Not at – Fry’s, Safeway, Whole Foods, or Sprouts. Finally, I gave up and just ordered it from Amazon. The best price was by the case, as in 12 packages. So yeah, I’ve used three packages and I have 9 packages left.

It’s good stuff and I’m sure I can find uses for it… but… just in case you are dying to make this salad and want to buy a package of the corn from me… I will sell it to you at my cost, which is $3.35 a package. OK, my cost was really $3.33, but I’m rounding up.

Cowboy Ciao’s Stetson Chopped Salad

1 cup diced Roma tomatoes
1 cup cooked Israeli couscous
1 cup chopped arugula
1 cup super-sweet dried corn
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup toasted pepitas
1/2 cup dried cranberries
4 ounces diced smoked salmon (optional)

2 garlic cloves, peeled
Pinch of salt
1 large egg yolk
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons vegetable oil

1/4 cup basil pesto
1 small shallot, peeled and roughly chopped
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Salad: On a large platter, assemble the salad ingredients in rows. Start with tomatoes, then the couscous, the arugula, and end with the corn. Mix the cheese, pepitas, and cranberries together in a medium bowl and add this mixture as the last row (or make the smoked salmon the last row, if using).

Aioli: With the motor of a food processor running, add the garlic, salt, egg yolk, lemon juice, and mustard through the feed tube.  Then very slowly add both oils through the feed tube with the stopper in place  (there is a tiny hole in the stopper that allows the oil to drip a just the right speed) until a thick aioli (garlic mayonnaise) has formed.

Dressing:  Leaving the aioli in the machine, turn back on the motor and add the pesto, and shallot through the open feed tube, and blend thoroughly. With the motor running, pour in buttermilk. Add the lemon juice, salt, and pepper.

When ready to serve, bring the platter to the table and drizzle the dressing over the salad at the table. Then toss and serve.

Serves 8 

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1 Sheila { 06.26.12 at 9:38 AM }

I LOVE this salad so much I have the recipe on my desktop! Now that’s saying something for such a luddite. 🙂

2 Linda Hopkins { 06.26.12 at 10:11 AM }

Hey Luddite, where do you find the corn? I’m guessing A.J’s… how much do they charge for it? It is a fabulous salad, I’m going to take a package of the corn and the pepitas with me to Wisconsin and make it for my Illinois, BFF, Jennifer! Already looking forward to having it again. 🙂

3 Marissa { 06.26.12 at 2:14 PM }

Mmmmm I want to make this!

4 Marissa { 06.26.12 at 2:15 PM }

Would it still be good if I left out the aioli? Less steps 🙂

5 Linda Hopkins { 06.26.12 at 2:20 PM }

No, the dressing would be too runny without the aioli. I suppose you could substitute 1/2 cup mayo or Greek yogurt for the aioli and then add a large or a couple small garlic cloves to the food processor when you add the shallot. If you do that, report back on how it turned out.

6 Jayme { 06.27.12 at 4:28 PM }

This is great! Very similar to the salad at Wildflower Bread company, I make it with green goddess dressing all the time!

7 Sloane { 06.27.12 at 4:57 PM }

I get this at Wild Flower to go sometimes for dinner and its pretty good!

8 Bonnie { 08.25.14 at 10:55 PM }

It’s my birthday!

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