Monday, March 15, 2010

Couscous Arugula Salad!

Here's the recipe that some of you girls have been requesting (thanks Laura and Niki!). Enjoy!!


Serves 6

1 cup (packed) fresh basil leaves
1 cup mayonnaise
1 shallot, quartered
1 cup buttermilk
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
Salt & pepper to taste

Blend basil leaves, mayonnaise, and shallot in a food processor until smooth. Gradually blend in the buttermilk and lemon juice. Season the dressing to taste with salt and pepper. (This can be made 1 day ahead, and then covered and refrigerated.)

1/3 cup grated Asiago cheese
1/3 cup dried currants
1/3 cup shelled pumpkin seeds
1 (10-oz) package plain couscous, cooked according to package directions (about 5 cups)
3 cups baby arugula
2 cups grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
2 grilled chicken breast halves, sliced
2 cups fresh corn kernels (from about 2 ears)

Toss all ingredients together with dressing.

I decided to make this for Tawni's farewell party, so here's what I did to make it a little cheaper:
(1) Firstly, I had a lot of these ingredients on hand - mayo, lemon juice, tomatoes, etc. You probably will, too.
(2) Instead of buying buttermilk, I did the ol' lemon juice + milk substitution. Pour 1 Tbsp lemon juice into a cup measurer, and then fill the rest of the way with milk.
(3) I used dried cranberries in place of currants (because I already had them).
(4) I used pine nuts in place of pumpkin seeds. (Where do you even buy pumpkin seeds?)
(5) I went for the arugula lettuce, but you could probably easily substitute fresh spinach if it's cheaper.
(6) I skipped the chicken. (However, I must say that I've had this salad with the chicken added, and it was better.)
(7) I used canned corn (which I had) instead of buying fresh corn. (Fresh corn is probably cheaper in season, but this saved me all the time and effort of preparing it.)

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