Chopped Chicken and Couscous Salad with Sweet Basil Dressing {Giveaway}

Chopped Chicken and Couscous Salad with Sweet Basil Dressing - www.afarmgirlsdabbles.com

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…

divider-bottom

First I want to share something I’ve been working on, to help keep you updated on all the latest happenings around here. We are now offering a weekly newsletter, sent right to your email at the end of every week. It will include snippets from that week’s posts and recipes, keep you updated on any current giveaways, and let you know about any other cool things going on. Plus we’ll share a little bit more, extra stuff from our everyday life that’s not included in the posts. Cool, huh?!

For those of you who are already signed up for email updates, your information was transferred over to our new system, and you should have received our inaugural newsletter earlier this week. You will continue to receive email updates after each new post is published, just like before but it will look slightly different, plus the new weekly newsletter at the end of the week. I hope that you will stayed subscribed to both mailings, but completely understand if you prefer to opt out of one of them.

For those of you who have not yet signed up, now would be a great time to do so! There’s a button on the sidebar that links to a subscription form, for you to choose the weekly newsletter and/or the email update. Or just click here. The form looks like this, and it’s easy peasy to get your updates started. Just enter your email and you’re good to go!

weekly newsletter and RSS email subscription form - a farmgirl's dabbles

divider-bottom

And now let’s get back to that awesome salad!!

Chopped Chicken and Couscous Salad with Sweet Basil DressingThis 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. :)

The Recipe Girl Cookbook by Lori Lange - www.afarmgirlsdabbles.com

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.

And the photos in the book? They are simply beautiful, as you would only expect from the work of Matt Armendariz, from Matt Bites

Chopped Chicken and Couscous Salad with Sweet Basil Dressing - www.afarmgirlsdabbles.com

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!

Chopped Chicken and Couscous Salad with Sweet Basil Dressing

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

    for the sweet basil dressing:
  • 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
  • for the chopped chicken and couscous salad:
  • 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

Preparation

for the sweet basil dressing:

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.

for the chopped chicken and couscous salad:

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!

Source

Adapted just slightly from The Recipe Girl Cookbook by Lori Lange.

divider-top

A Giveaway!

The Recipe Girl Cookbook by Lori Lange - www.afarmgirlsdabbles.com

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.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

divider-bottom

Giveaway rules: This giveaway is open to US residents 18 years and older. Giveaway will end at 11:59 pm CST on August 20, 2013. One winner will be chosen at random and then notified by email. Winner will have 48 hours to respond and claim their prize, or another winner will be selected. A farmgirl’s dabbles and Recipe Girl are not responsible for lost or undelivered emails.
divider-bottom
Disclosure: I received a copy of The Recipe Girl Cookbook for review purposes. All opinions are my own.

divider-bottom