Sunday, May 6, 2007

Mexican Chopped Salad

Since the 5th was Cinco de Mayo, I should have posted this then. Ah well. It's really okay, because this salad could be made any day or month of the year in my book. This is the last recipe I'll post from the Mexican cooking class Cherrie and I attended a couple of weeks ago. We agreed this salad was the stand-out of the dinner (Cherrie made it, I photographed it surreptitiously while our dinner guests were sitting in the dining room and we were plating up the dinner in the kitchen - this is a tricky thing I'm finding in foodie blogdom - how to photograph company meals while the guests are hanging around).

But, back to business - you need to love cilantro if you're going to make this one. It could be a side salad, but ideally it would be best as a main dish salad. The instructor, Phillis Carey, suggested fresh shrimp or chicken as a protein add-in.

What's different about this salad is that the dressing contains the cilantro, which is whizzed up in the blender, so you don't know there's cilantro there except that the dressing is nice bright greeny hue. But, because it's pulverized in the blender, you need to use up the dressing within a day as cilantro begins to turn slimy within that time. So only make enough to use for the one salad. The salad itself could be your own combination of lettuces and fresh vegetables, but the instructor particularly talked about the corn, the jicama and the Feta cheese as important ingredients. The jicama gives the salad such a nice crunch. The corn is great for color, and the sheep's milk Feta (not cow Feta, she said) gives a wonderful lightly salty taste. Cherrie added some crispy radishes to the mix also. Phillis indicated it's the lime juice that makes this salad. Try it!

Mexican Chopped Salad with Cilantro
Recipe By : Phillis Carey
Serving Size : 6
Preparation Time :0:40

1/2 cup cilantro -- coarsely chopped
2 whole garlic cloves -- minced
1 teaspoon chipotle chile canned in adobo
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup green onions --
2 1/2 cups Romaine lettuce -- chopped
2 cups green cabbage leaves -- chopped
3/4 cup roasted red pepper -- diced
3/4 cup jicama -- peeled, diced
3/4 cup corn kernels -- fresh or frozen
1/2 cup Feta cheese -- sheep's milk, not cow's milk
2 cups blue corn tortilla chips

1. In a blender combine: cilantro, garlic, Chipotle chiles, lime juice, mustard, sugar and salt. Puree until smooth. Whisk in the oil and green onions. Cover and chil until serving time.
2. In a large salad bowl toss together the lettuce, cabbage, red peppers, jicama, corn and Feta cheese. Toss with enough dressing to coat. Serve topped with tortilla chips for garnish.
Description: "This is unusually good. It's ordinary ingredients, but put them together and WOW."

NOTES : The dressing will keep just one day (because of the cilantro). It's the lime juice that makes this dressing so special.

Serving Ideas : You can make this with grilled shrimp or chicken also. You could also add some drained and rinsed black beans and tomatoes also.
Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 559 Calories; 24g Fat (38.1% calories from fat); 13g Protein; 75g Carbohydrate; 9g Dietary Fiber; 11mg Cholesterol; 740mg Sodium. Exchanges: 4 1/2 Grain(Starch); 1/2 Lean Meat; 1 Vegetable; 0 Fruit; 4 1/2 Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates.
To print, click on the title at the top.

1 comment:

Kalyn said...

This dressing recipe is very similar to one I got from the California Rice Oil company, who sent me some oil to try, and I agree, the chopped cilantro in the dressing was great. Love the sound of this salad with shrimp.