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Chopped Salad

September 8, 2009

IMG_9811There is a great restaurant in old town Scottsdale that some good friends introduced us to on our very 1st night upon moving to Phoenix – it is called Cowboy Ciao.  It has a great eclectic menu, sort of offering a little bit of everything from american cuisine.  They had a great dish called Puerco Lento.  A slow roasted shank of pork seasoned with cumin and served with roasted potatoes.  Regrettably it has disappeared from their menu.  Luckily they have not gotten rid of their best dish… the one thing that you must try from their menu is simply a salad before your meal, called a Stetson Chopped Salad.  Awesome.  Here is my adaptation from their spectacular dish.

The following ingredients serve around 3 people.

  • chopped arugula (sometimes called rocket) 2 cups
  • chopped roma tomato, 1 1/2 cups
  • cooked israeli cous cous, 1 1/2 cups
  • dry roasted corn (try Trader Joe’s) 1 cup
  • chopped smoked salmon, 1 cup
  • roasted papitas (pumpkin seeds or sub sunflower) 1/2 cup
  • dried cranberries (or sub golden raisins) 1/2 cup
  • shredded Asiago cheese, 1/2 cup
  • ranch dressing, 1/4 cup (or so)
  • dried Pesto Seasoning, a handful (find it in the spice aisle)

Cook the cous cous per the package directions and let it cool.  Roast the papitas in a saute pan over medium heat for about 2 minutes, set aside and let cool.  If you can’t find dry roasted corn at the grocery store you will need to dry roast it and a dash of olive oil in a saute pan over low heat for about  10 munutes, let cool.  Chop your smoked salmon.  

IMG_9809Arrange all the ingredients on a large platter in some nice tight rows – make it look cool.   Start with your arugula in the middle and work your way outwards with largest quantity of ingredients to smallest.  Sprinkle your pesto seasoning on top then drizzle with ranch dressing just before serving. 

At the table mix all of the ingredients together in front of your guests and serve.

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