This salad takes a bit of time to make, but is worth it if you, like me, have to have salad every single day and like a little variety from time to time. This is a little bit Caesar-y (anchovies, garlic and Parmesan give it that special tang we all love) and a lot Southwestern because of the boldness of the jalapeño and the generous amount of cilantro. It pairs beautifully with steak (see my previous Grilled Skirt Steak post) and I love it by itself for lunch with a few avocado slices on top.
Southwestern Chopped Salad
For the dressing:
2/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
¼ cup plain yogurt
¼ cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 medium shallot, chopped
2 anchovy fillets
2 garlic cloves
1 jalapeno chili, seeded, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
¾ cup olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
For the Salad:
1 head romaine lettuce, washed, rinsed and chopped
3 corn tortillas, cut into thin strips
2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
1 ear of white corn, kernels removed
¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Place all of the dressing ingredients except for the olive oil in a food processor and purée until smooth. Continue to process and slowly add the olive oil through the feed tube until the mixture is well blended. Cover the dressing and refrigerate until ready to use.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the corn kernels on a small baking pan and drizzle them with a teaspoon of olive oil and a light sprinkling of salt and pepper. Roast the corn in the oven for 5 to 10 minutes. Set aside. While the corn is roasting, in a small skillet, heat the remaining teaspoon of olive oil. Add the tortilla strips to the oil and sauté them, stirring frequently until they are crisp. Remove them to a paper towel to drain and sprinkle them with a bit of kosher salt.
To serve the salad, combine the lettuce, tortilla strips, white corn and Parmesan cheese in a large bowl. Toss with enough dressing to coat. Taste for seasoning.