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Stetson Chopped Salad

DeanneDeanne Kaider

This is the best salad we’ve tasted, and it lands in the top 10 most memorable dishes we’ve ever had. We can’t go to Scottsdale without visiting Cowboy Ciao for this salad.

servings:Makes 2 servings
prep time:
25 min
total time:
25 min


Salad ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup (2 oz) Israeli (pearl) couscous, cooked
  • 1/2 cup (2 oz) Roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 cup (1 oz) super-sweet dried corn
  • 1/2 cup (2oz) arugula, chopped
  • 2 ounces smoked salmon, diced
  • 1/2 oz asiago cheese, crumbled **
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 oz) toasted pepitas **
  • 1/4 cup dried black currants**
Pesto dressing ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup basil pesto
  • 1 cup aioli (Note: If you cannot find commercially prepared aioli and don`t want to make your own, you can substitute mayonnaise, or use 1 cup olive oil, drizzled in very slowly with motor running so the mixture emulsifies. It should thicken further with refrigeration.
  • 1 shallot, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse black pepper
  • Salt to taste
Stetson Chopped Salad photo


Salad instructions:

  • 1

    In a shallow bowl, assemble the salad ingredients in rows. Start with tomatoes or arugula at one end; push previous row back with one hand as you place and line up the next ingredient with the other hand.

  • 2

    **Combine these ingredients beforehand and use as one row. All are available at Trader Joe’s.

Pesto dressing instructions:

Add first three ingredients to food processor and blend thoroughly. With motor running, pour in buttermilk. Add remaining ingredients to combine. If using prepared pesto, taste before adding additional salt. Store in refrigerator until ready to serve.


If pearl couscous is unavailable, substitute a tiny pasta like ditalini or acini di pepe. Pepitas are sometimes called Mexican pumpkin seeds. Sweet dried corn is usually available at natural food markets or in the produce section of some major grocers.



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  • Anne Marie

    by , February 1, 2013

    Magnificent! I first had this salad at Cowboy Ciao in Pheonix. The entire table proclaimed it the best salad we have ever eaten. I was so pleased to find this recipe online. The at home version didn't disappoint. Make this salad, now!

  • Jenn

    by , April 14, 2012

    We ate at Cowboy Ciao over Spring Break. I had the Stetson Salad and it is ohhh so good. I ate every single last morsel. Can't wait to make it for myself.

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