Aren’t summer salads, bursting with fresh garden produce, just the best?! I am super excited to share this Chopped Chicken and Couscous Salad with Sweet Basil Dressing with you. But first…
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And now let’s get back to that awesome salad!!
This recipe for Chopped Chicken and Couscous Salad with Sweet Basil Dressing comes from Lori Lange of Recipe Girl. I’ve always loved Lori’s enticing and approachable recipes, sprinkled with stories of her family’s life. But it wasn’t until I attended the BlogHer Food conference in Austin, Texas a couple months ago, that I had the pleasure of finally meeting her face to face. Lori has a great laugh, is super smiley, and knows how to rock a pair of cowboy boots. I like that. Alot. :)
It has been a real pleasure to read and cook from Lori’s book, The Recipe Girl Cookbook. Just like the recipes on her popular blog, the ones in the book are welcoming and tasty, using ingredients and techniques that are easily attainable. I especially like how Lori offers ideas to change up each recipe, and at the back of the book she includes ways to incorporate her recipes into themed menus. She completely takes the guess work out of planning a gathering or special meal.
I had several recipes tagged from the cookbook, and it took me awhile to decide what to actually share with you. But then I looked out the window into our kitchen garden and saw the basil plants, all lush and begging to be used. I knew right then and there what I wanted to make. And eat. And share with you!
This salad is a definite keeper, an all-family pleaser. It has chicken (meat!), which automagically bumps up any salad in my husband’s rating system. It has Israeli couscous, those tiny little pasta bubbles that our girls love so much. And it’s loaded with the delicious summer goodness of sweet corn and fresh pungent basil. This recipe particularly peaked my interest with its use of raw sweet corn kernels, incorporated into the salad straight from the cob without cooking. I think I’ve found a new love. Why haven’t I been eating raw sweet corn in my summer salads all along?!
Oh, and one more thing. Just go ahead and double the sweet basil dressing right away, to have some extra on hand. Drizzle it over fresh greens and use it as a veggie dip. It’s awesome!
- 1/2 c. mayonnaise
- 2 T. finely chopped fresh basil
- 1 T. prepared basil pesto
- 1 T. water
- 2 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tsp. honey
- 1/8 tsp. salt
- 1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 4 c. finely chopped romaine lettuce
- 2 c. finely chopped roasted chicken
- 2 c. fresh (raw) corn kernels, from about 2 large cobs
- 2 c. finely chopped red cabbage
- 1 c. dry Israeli couscous, cooked according to package directions, then cooled
- 1 medium red bell pepper, seeded, ribs removed and finely chopped
- 1/2 c. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 c. dried currants (or substitute golden raisins)
- 1/2 c. finely chopped pecans
In a small bowl, whisk together all dressing ingredients. If the dressing seems too thick, whisk in more water, 1 teaspoon at a time, until you reach a consistency you're happy with. It should be creamy and thick, but also pourable.
In a large bowl, toss together all salad ingredients.
Add the dressing and toss to coat evenly. Divide salad among 4 bowls to serve. Or, if you prefer, serve the dressing on the side so that individual eaters can add their own salad dressing. The dressing is so good, I highly recommend making a double batch of it. Whatever doesn't get used on this salad can be used for other salads or as a veggie dip. Yum!
Adapted just slightly from The Recipe Girl Cookbook by Lori Lange.
The Recipe Girl Cookbook is full of awesome recipes for everyday meals and easy entertaining. And you have the chance to win a copy, yay! Just use the widget below to enter.