My amazing friend Erin (who recently left our neighborhood for Cali, can’t even get started on how much we miss her and her fam) , gave this recipe for Erin and Misty’s Basil Couscous Salad to me last fall. Erin inherited this recipe from her little sis, Misty . I filed it away until this summer because I thought it looked like a great summer salad. Tried this recipe out the other night, when I needed to make a salad for 60. It was a wedding shower, and perfect for the event. First try, I used the spring mix suggested, but I really dislike it when a salad goes limp. Don’t you hate that? I like using romaine in salads that are heavy on other filler ingredients. Reason being- I like the green to be substantial enough to support the other ingredients. Salads are like shows. In this salad, the greens are support, and all of the other ingredients are leads. Melinda, my show-a-holic friend, who is turning 48 (yikes, you’re old!) this week will love this analogy.
Anyway, tonight, I made the salad again, with romaine and spinach. Loved it. The Romaine was firm and crunchy. No problem tossing the dressing with the salad. No limp leaves. Hooray for firm lettuce! I know you think I’m weirdly obsessive about ridiculous things.
Erin Blake and Misty Mayfield
1 package Olive Oil and Garlic Couscous
12 cups Romaine lettuce (about 1 large or two medium heads)
1/2 cup Craisins
1/2 cup grated Asiago or Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 cups or 3-4 medium ears fresh white corn, cooked, cooled and cut off cob*
1/2 cup toasted pumpkin seedsFresh Basil Dressing:
(enough for a double batch of salad)
1 cup fresh basil leaves*
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 shallot, chopped (optional)
1 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Salt and Pepper to tasteFor best results- a day before, or at least a few hours before:
Cook couscous according to package directions. Cool completely. Refrigerate.
Wash and dry lettuce, set aside in refrigerator.
Cook corn, rinse with cool water. Cut corn off cob and place in refrigerator to cool completely.
Make dressing by mixing all ingredients in blender or by using a hand immersion blender. Refrigerate.
When ready to serve:
Place cooked couscous in a large bowl. Chop lettuce into bite size pieces. Add lettuce and rest of salad ingredients into bowl. Just before serving, drizzle dressing (I only use about 1/2 ) and toss. You may serve additional remaining dressing on the side.