Friday, September 17, 2010

Southwestern Salad

Salads are truly one of my favorite things in the world. If you do it right and don’t pile on a ton of fatty additives, they can be so healthy for you. For me, I enjoy a salad with crispy lettuce and veggies, light on the tomatoes – and I’m always searching for the perfect ranch dressing. Recently I found a ranch on Annie’s Eats that I’ve been able to tailor to our preferences and it’s phenomenal.

This is a salad I concocted after having something similar at Corner Bakery. I loved the combination of flavors and although I don’t know quite what’s in the original, I think my version comes pretty close.

Southwestern Salad
Yield: 4 servings

3 romaine hearts, cut into bite sized pieces
3 Roma tomatoes, diced and drained in a sieve
½ cup finely chopped red onion
1 clove minced garlic
1 Anaheim pepper, finely chopped
1 bunch cilantro, roughly chopped
1 cup corn kernels
Ranch dressing

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, sauté the corn in a splash of olive oil just until they begin to brown and caramelize and then pour into a large salad bowl. Add in the tomatoes, onion, garlic, pepper and cilantro and toss until combined. Pour over just enough dressing to coat, about 1/3 cup, and mix until coated. You may add more if you prefer, but remember – it adds calories!

Chill corn mixture for 10-15 minutes in the fridge while you cut up your lettuce. Just before serving, toss everything together. If you do this too early your lettuce will become soggy and there is nothing worse than a soggy salad. Drizzle with additional ranch if you prefer, and if you’re not on a low-to-no-carb diet like us, you can also add a few tortilla strips. Also great with grilled chicken breasts.

Ranch Dressing:
1 cup Greek yogurt
1 cup buttermilk, plus more
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp. sea salt
½ tsp. black pepper
1 bunch fresh basil
1 bunch chives

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. You can add more or less buttermilk based on how thick you like your dressing. For the recipe above, the dressing needs to be on the thinner side; coat a spoon, but don’t have it globbed on there. The thinner it is, the farther it will go with less calories and just as much flavor.

Love, KC

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