Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Rachel's Southwest Salad

My daughter-in-law Rachel enjoyed a salad like this at a restaurant recently, so she and my son duplicated it to bring to our 4th of July BBQ.  There’s an explosion of different flavors going on, and I love trying to identify each ingredient.  By adjusting it slightly, it works well as either a side and main dish salad.

With the summer “monsoon” arriving a full month early here - salads are looking better and better for dinner.  There’s something about a cool main dish during hot muggy weather that saves me from grumpiness.  

We have our signature marinade for turkey or chicken that we love during the summer (recipe is HERE) - and the leftovers are perfect to add to this salad.  I slice the chicken really thin, and fan it out along the edge of my plate - instead of mixing it in with everything else.  (Yes, I was one of “those kids” who couldn’t let each food touch another food on my plate)  But if you love yours tossed until you can’t recognize anything - go for it!

Rachel used Brianna’s Chipotle Cheddar dressing when she brought her salad to dinner.  It was nice and spicy - a good contrast.  

When I made it to take to another BBQ, I decided to make my own dressing from Hidden Valley Fiesta Ranch - the proportions are included in the recipe link.  It was spicy enough - but not so much that grandkids would complain.  (Another favorite recipe I use this Fiesta Ranch mix with is HERE)

The most unusual ingredient used is honey roasted sunflower seeds - they added a barely-sweet, crisp kick to the salad.  I decided to add cojita crumbling cheese, diced avocado, and crisp tortilla strips as additional garnishes.  You can add (or deduct) any of these ingredients and you’ll still have a fabulous salad (and black olives would be great too...)

Pico de Gallo would add a nice touch as well - and even guacamole (if you leave out the diced avocado).  Keep toying with it and you could end up with a really fancy “dip-able” type of salad plate.  

Next time I’m going to warm up some uncooked flour tortillas (from the package, of course - it’s summer!).  Rolling some of this salad inside would make the perfect cool summer wrap.

For the recipe, go to:

1 comment:

  1. Delicious looking salad....all the ingredients I like. Will have to try recipe. Have a great evening!