Friday, February 26, 2010

Mexican Salad with Tomatillo Dressing

This has quickly become one of my all-time FAVORITE weeknight meals! It's super quick, and it's jam-packed full of flavor (and veggies!), which makes it a perfect staple in my mind. The dressing is very similar to the one I make for Cafe Rio Salads, but unique enough for me to love them both for different reasons.


Mexican Salad
with Creamy Tomatillo Dressing

DRESSING:

1 dry buttermilk ranch packet
1 c. mayonnaise
1 c. buttermilk
2 tomatillos peeled and roughly chopped
3-4 serrano chili peppers, seeded**
1/2 head cilantro, chopped
Juice from 1-2 limes

In a blender, combine mayo, buttermilk, and ranch packet. Blend until mixture thickens slightly. Add remaining ingredients and blend until smooth.

Dressing can easily be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge, but it is not necessary.

**NOTE: Don't be scared by the serrano chilies-- They add a great amount of flavor, without adding TOO much heat. We make the dressing with 4 peppers (and my toddler loves it!) but you can easily use less and have the same effect. The heat resides in the seeds and membranes, so be sure to remove them if you want a milder dressing. BUT, do be careful when cutting and seeding them. The chili oils can burn your skin, which can be quite painful-- Even if you wash your hands right away. I try to wear gloves, if possible.

SALAD:

1 large head romaine lettuce, chopped
4 green onions, sliced thinly
1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
1 can black beans, rinsed
1 can shoe peg corn
1 sm. can sliced olives
1 lg. tomato, diced
1-2 avocados, diced
cheddar cheese, shredded

Lime wedges
Tortilla Strips
1 lb. seasoned ground beef
Tomatillo Dressing

Combine first 9 ingredients and toss well. Serve in large bowls and garnish with ground beef, lime wedges, tortilla strips, and Tomatillo Dressing.

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