When the weather warms up all I want to eat are light dinners. I really don’t want to heat up my kitchen and I do not want to have a heavy stomach. This salad is exactly what I want. It is fresh tasting, crispy, filling, and has that sweet-salty thing going on that I love. I also never, ever, tire of Mexican food. I could eat it every day and be a very happy girl. While this is “Mexican inspired” why not give it a try for your Cinco de Mayo party?
This salad is more of a blueprint than an actual recipe. Use what you have, change up the ingredients. Don’t like something? Don’t use it. Have another great idea? Try it out. I also have to mention that I love to use herbs as a salad green. In this recipe, I use cilantro in the same way that I would use lettuce. I washed it, ripped it up and tossed it in the bowl. I happened to have my husband throw the corn on the grill while he was cooking the chicken but thawed frozen corn would be great also. Have leftover steak? Throw that in there instead. But the thing that really makes this salad is the tortilla chip “croutons”. Add them right before you are ready to serve and it adds a nice salty crunch to your salad.
For the Honey Lime Dressing:
1/4 cup honey
juice of 3 limes
2 Tablespoons white vinegar
1 Tablespoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1/3 cup olive oil
Put everything except for the olive oil in a bowl and whisk until combined.
While whisking, slowly pour in the olive oil. Whisk until smooth. Taste it. Does it taste balanced? It may need more acid, so add more lime juice or vinegar. Not sweet enough? Add a bit more honey. Maybe more salt and pepper. I use this recipes as a starting off point, as I do with all dressing recipes, you need to make it to your taste. Set aside. If it breaks before you are ready to serve, just whisk it back together.
For the salad:
1 head of Romaine shredded
3 green onions, sliced
1 red pepper, diced
half of a red onion, sliced thin
2 ears grilled corn (or a bag of thawed frozen corn)
half of a bunch of cilantro
grilled chicken (just seasoned with salt and pepper, and little cumin. If I had time I would have marinated it in some of the dressing. I didn’t and it was still delicious, but it would have been really good marinated.)
1/2 cup shredded cheese
tortilla chips, crushed
Put everything except for the chips and beans in a large bowl.
Toss it. Add a little dressing. One of my biggest peeves is too much dressing. I like to add a little and add as I go instead of having an overdressed soupy salad. Add the chips. Add the beans on top. Garnish with some sliced limes. Dinner is served.
Everyone in my house ate this dinner. It was a miracle. The kids liked to dip their chicken in sour cream and used extra chips for scooping. Whatever works right? They ate salad. I wanted to weep at the table. It would also be a really good wrap filling.
If you should happen to celebrate Cinco de Mayo this year or are just in the mood for a great dinner salad, make this and share it with someone you love. It is delish.