I’ve had some fantastic Southwest salads and I’ve had some horrible ones. One restaurant served theirs covered in a vinaigrette – heavy on the vinegar. I couldn’t eat it. I puckered up, pecked at it like an Old Hen would cut my losses, and left the place $18 poorer and pretty darn hungry.
So, because I love you, I present thee with a Southwest Salad which will be more pleasing than a prissy plate of lettuce & vinegar every single time.
Makes 6 salads.
- 1 15-ounce can black beans
- 1 recipe of Southwest Rub
- 3 chicken breasts, butterfly cut in half
- 2 cups Buttermilk Ranch Dressing
- 6 cups romaine lettuce, chopped into about 1-inch squares
- 2 ears corn on the cob (or 3 cups frozen corn)
- 4 Roma tomatoes, diced
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 3 jalapeno, minced
- 2 6.5-ounce cans sliced black olives
- 6 green onions, chopped
- 1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
- 8 ounces cheddar cheese, grated
- 8 ounces pepper Jack cheese, grated
- 2 avocados, diced or sliced
- 2 limes, cut into wedges
- 16 ounces tri-color tortilla strips (or regular tortilla chips will do)
Rinse black beans well and place in a saucepan with water. Boil for 20 minutes. Drain and set aside to cool.
Turn on an outside grill (or oven to 350°F). Prepare Southwest Rub and set aside. Butterfly cut chicken breasts and coat with Southwest Rub. Allow chicken to sit for about 20 minutes then grill until the middle of thickest part reaches 165F. If baking in the oven, place seasoned chicken on an olive oil-coated baking pan and bake until largest piece of chicken reaches 165°F in the middle.
It is wise to invest in a good meat thermometer to be sure any meats you cook reach their safe temperature for eating.
Place corn cob in a pot of boiling water. Leave in water for three minutes and then place in a bowl of ice cold water for a few minutes. After corn is cool enough to handle, cut corn off of the cob.
Place lettuce on plates. Top each plate of lettuce with corn, tomatoes, bell peppers, black olives, red onion, cilantro, cheddar and pepper jack cheese.
Slice chicken at a slant for an extra stylish look and place on top of salad.
Drizzle with the desired amount of ranch dressing.
Dice avocado right before serving (so it won’t brown). If preparing in advance for a crowd, you can drizzle and toss avocado with fresh lime juice at help prevent browning. Keep everything except chicken refrigerated until ready to use.
Decorate sides of each plate with tortilla strips and a couple of lime wedges. Lime wedges are ever so delightful squeezed upon your salad.
Budget-friendly, fresh, flavorful, and comforting. Eating out (on the patio) is so very perfect.