That “Stetson” Salad. Happy Birthday to me!

My two skinny girlfriends, Debra and Lauri (and their hubbies) gave me a little birthday dinner with all my favorites.  FUN!

Stetson salad originated in Scottsdale at one of our old favorite restaurants, Cowboy Caio.     The restaurant is Now closed, but versions of this salad just keep popping up in other places.  I have been to at least two that have ‘stolen’ the idea and changed the dressing slightly.  Basically the dressing is a Pesto-Ranch.  Debra made this one for my birthday.  What a Presentation!!! The whole idea of this gorgeous salad is that you serve it on a big platter with all the ingredients in separate rows.  As I mentioned, I have had versions with grilled chicken, salmon, and other types of dried fruits.

Beautiful salad, Filet mignons…..and lobster tails (Not pictured). my hubby is allergic to shellfish, so I got it all!   What a dinner!


The fun of this is that you can change ingredients, but the basics always include dried sweet corn, arugula parmesan, dried fruit, and a protein.  Debra used grilled chicken. I have added pine nuts and done the salad with chopped cooked salmon.


1/8 cup basil pesto

1/4 cup chopped shallot

dash pepper

1/4 c. aioli (1 minced garlic clove with 1/2 of 1/3  cup EVOO, 2 Tbs. mayo)

1/4 cup buttermilk

1/2 tsp. lemon juice

Mix 1st 3 in blender, slowly drizzle in EVOO, juice and buttermilk till dressing is smooth

Arrange rows for Presentation:

Dried sweet corn, Diced Romano cheese,  Couscous, (I use Israeli.  You can get it at AJ’s.  It’s larger).  Asiago cheese, Toasted Pepitas  (pine nuts), Dried Cherries. (I used cranberries)

Toss all together with dressing after everyone has raved about how you should have your own cooking show!

COOK’S NOTE:  If I am in a hurry I just make a good Ranch dressing and add 1/4 cup pesto to it.  A lot easier and pretty close to the original! See below.

Here is a copy of the original recipe I got directly from the Restaurant years ago.  I told you it’s been around a long time!  Sometimes the best things come back into your life, like good food and old friends!





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