Southwestern Salad with Avocado Dressing
Yes, I know it isn't Summer yet and maybe it feels like it never will be, but I think a salad that serves as a meal might just be that we can use anytime and for any occasion. I make different versions of this salad and today this is the one I am sharing with you.
Note that this salad is great served with a flank steak or I can just imagine it with a nice piece of fresh tuna. YUM!
Even if you don't make every component of this salad, you just have to make the avocado dressing, you will make it over and over again, surprisingly, this dressing keeps several days, and is delicious with salsa and chips, or over a good steak. SO try it and let me know!
Grilled chicken breasts (Of your choice, look below for an easy way of preparing)
1 can black beans, white beans or any of your choice
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes or quartered tomatoes of choice
2 cups fresh or frozen corn (thawed)
1 red bell pepper (or more!)
1 yellow or orange pepper (or more!)
3 hearts Romaine lettuce
1 english cucumber or other (diced)
Green onion, shallots or thinly sliced red onion
Cubed cheese of choice, Halloumi, Feta, bocconcini (About 2 cups)
1 jalapeno (to taste)
2 clove garlic
1/4 cup cilantro, loosely packed
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup salsa
Juice from one lime or 2 tbsp. lime juice
1 tsp. honey (optional)
1 tsp. smoked paprika
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp cumin
½ tsp. chili
2 tbsp Olive oil
1/4 cup Milk or more to loosen toe dressing
Quick Dressing for Corn and Beans
2 tablespoon lime or lemon juice
3 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. coarse salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
½ tsp smoked paprika
1.Drain beans, thaw or prepare the corn and place in separate bowls, pour the simple corn and bean dressing over and toss to coat. Set aside. (You could also mix the two.)
2.Add all of the Avocado Dressing ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth, scraping the sides down as needed. Add hot sauce and additional salt and pepper to taste. Add additional milk to thin to desired consistency. Chill in the refrigerator for the flavors to marry.
3.Prepare the salad as follows, chop the Romain lettuce and spread on large pretty bowl,
Prepare tomatoes, dice or slice the onions, drain the pepperoncini, cut the cheese and dice the peppers and cucumber, spread decoratively over the romain lettuce with the beans and corn.
Lay the grilled chicken on top and pour the dressing over.
This will feed between 8 and 10 people easily.
It can be prepared ahead of time without the dressing and refrigerated.
-Easy grilled chicken breast: I like to do a quick marinade of equal parts olive oil, lemon juice, I add any seasonings I like, not the salt though. I use smoked paprika, plain paprika, any kind of paprika! I also like to use dried oregano, cumin for this salad too. I place the chicken and marinade in a large Ziploc bag, and into the fridge for however long I have. To grill or cook, I use a dry rub or spice mix and cook till tender. I slice and place over the salad and voilà!