Wednesday, July 6, 2011
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: