Fresh Crunchy Chopped Salad with Sweet Basil Dressing!


So I've been obsessed with this one particular salad from Trader Joe's lately, but instead of throwing down $5 each time I want it...which is always, I decided why not just make my own? I was hoping Trader Joe's would just have the basil dressing (a definite key player in making the whole thing work) as a big bottle and then all I would have to do is pick up the salad contents and be done. 

No such luck. Unfortunately, they do not sell the dressing pre-made which meant I had to go figure it out on my own. Just as a side note - if anyone from Trader's is reading this, bottled sweet basil dressing would be amazing! 

Luckily like a true food stalker, I took a picture of the ingredient list of the salad+dressing kit and it was a matter of figuring out the quantities needed of each ingredient. It was surprisingly quick how everything came together. I might say I'm a little proud of myself. Dressing came out perfect! I suggest tasting as you go because I did have to go back and adjust the amount of basil needed, I liked a stronger basil aroma/taste. 

The salad is a bit of work to put together since it has a lot of different component but you will not regret it! Every layer of detail adds on a different flavor and texture that just makes this salad so great. The pictures don't quite do it justice but this will be love at first taste. Trust me. And if you've already had it and love it, you know what I'm talking about! OMG I still can't get over the dressing... soooo good! I could drink that stuff...won't but very tempting. Don't just take my words for it, go make a batch of your own!  

Fresh Crunchy Chopped Salad with Sweet Basil Dressing  
Adapted from Trader Joe's Field Fresh Chopped Salad with Chicken

Ingredients:
Salad:
  • 1 cup romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 1/4 cup red cabbage, chopped (or cabbage mix)
  • 2-3 tbsp green onions
  • 1/4 cup Israeli couscous - cooked and chilled
  • 2-3 tbsp cooked sweet corn kernels (can be from fresh or frozen)
  • 2-3 tbsp red bell pepper, diced
  • 3-4 tbsp Shredded Asiago or Parmesan cheese
  • 1-2 tbsp roasted chopped pecans
  • 1-2 tbsp dried blueberries (or currants, cherries, cranberries, whatever maybe available at your local store)   
  • For some extra (non-vegetarian) protein - add 1/4 cup cooked chicken breast, cubed (optional)
Sweet Basil Dressing:  
makes about 6 oz
  • 1/2 cup mayo (or substitute with plain Greek yogurt)
  • 1 tbsp of water 
  • 1 cup of loosely packed fresh basil, roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp of honey
  • lemon juice from 1/2 fresh lemon (or 2 tsp of lemon juice)
  • 2-3 tbsp of diced shallots
  • 1/8 tsp of ground black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp of salt
Procedures:
  1. To make the dressing: place all the ingredients into a blender or food processor, blend until creamy. Add water if too thick or mayo if too runny. Taste to adjust. 
  2. In a large bowl, toss all the salad ingredients together with basil dressing. Enjoy!

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