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My favorite Salad

??Understand- salads are the enemy

1/4 cup basil pesto
1/2 shallot, roughly chopped
1/2 cup aioli (see note)
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Salt and pepper, to taste

1/3 cup cooked Israeli couscous
2 ounces chopped arugula
1/3 cup diced Roma tomatoes
1/3 cup guacomole
1 tablespoon crumbled Asiago cheese
1 tablespoon toasted pepitas
2 tablespoons dried black currants
< 2 tablespoons super-sweet dried corn

For the dressing: Combine pesto, shallot and aioli in a food processor; blend thoroughly. With motor running, add buttermilk. Add pepper and lemon juice; blend to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Makes about 1 1/4 cups.

For the salad: Arrange ingredients in separate rows on a large platter. Toss salad at the table, using about half of the batch of dressing. (Refrigerate remaining dressing up to three days.) Makes 2 servings.

Note: Aioli is like garlicky mayonnaise. Look for it in gourmet food stores, or make your own by blending together 1 to 2 finely minced garlic cloves, 1/3 cup olive oil and 1/4 cup mayonnaise.

Approximate values per serving: 468 calories, 40 g fat, 19 mg cholesterol, 11 g protein, 21 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 440 mg sodium, 77 percent calories from fat.

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