Either way, this is a fun and unique salad that was a big hit at our Mexican-Inspired Thanksgiving this year. This salad paired very well with Marcela Valladolid's Jalapeno Roasted Chicken, as well as her Chile and Cheese Rice. (Both Marcela's Jalapeno Roasted Chicken and her Chile Cheese Rice happen to be two of my favorite new recipes this year). If you're looking for a wonderful family meal with lots of flavor and a hint of spice, this makes for a great menu.
Mexican Tortilla Salad with Cotija Cheese and Cilantro-Pepita Dressing
Adapted from Food.com
2 heads of Romain lettuce, cut into chunks
1/3 cup crumbled Cotija Cheese
1 roasted red pepper
1/2 cup roasted pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds)
1- 4oz. can chopped green chiles
2 tablespoons roasted pepitas (*see above)
1 garlic clove
dash black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon Cotija cheese
1/2 bunch fresh cilantro
3 tablespoons mayo
2 tablespoons water
Place all dressing ingredients except cilantro, mayo and water in a blender or food processor. blend approx 10 sec., then add cilantro, mayo and water and blend until combined . Place in an airtight container and refrigerate, will keep for 3 days.
Cut tortillas into match sized sticks. Heat oil in saute pan over med-high; fry tortillas until crisp. Remove with slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Set aside.
Tear lettuce into bite size pieces, toss in large bowl with half of the crumbled cheese, roasted peppers, pepitas and as much salad dressing as you wish. Top with the remaining cheese, roasted peppers, pepitas and fried tortilla strips.
NOTE***Cojita is a hard and crumbly cheese, similar in texture to feta, found in some grocery stores and most mexican markets.
Notes/Results: My Mom and I loved this salad with it's creamy and colorful dressing, chunks of Cotija cheese, and crunchy strips of tortilla strips and pepitas. I didn't have any red peppers on hand, so I wasn't able to include the roasted red pepper strips, but I imagine that the red color of the peppers would make for a stunning red and green salad this holiday season. This salad would be equally delicious as a main dish with added vegetables, sliced chicken or maybe even shrimp. This is one of those salad recipes that people will remember, crave, and ask for again.
|For my friend Deb @ Kahakai Kitchen|