Southwestern Cobb Salad with Creamy Cilantro Dressing
I was chatting with a friend recently and mentioned to her how much I miss this space. I’ve sat down to write posts a few times over the past few months, but I always end up walking away. With everything going on, it feels strange (insensitive, even) to come here and talk about food. My friend said something encouraging, how food is a common language. I want to believe that because food has long been a way for me to communicate. Making someone a meal or a batch of cookies is a good idea whether they’re celebrating or grieving. Can we put good into the world by making and sharing food? I think so. (Note: I’m certainly not claiming this is how problems will be solved, just something kind we can do in a world that seems filled with hate.) I’m still trying to navigate this, and I appreciate you for being here.
So, with that, here’s a new recipe that’s perfect for this time of year. It’s easy to assemble, and it makes a great lunch or dinner. I love recipes like this because it allows us to spend more time playing and less time cooking. The longer the days get, the more we want to spend that extra daylight outside. Also, Leo is everywhere these days, and in the time it takes me to get ingredients out of the pantry, he’s already opened the cabinets and splashed in the pets’ water bowl. Quick and easy meals have been a necessity around here lately, and the extra time we’ve had to play has been a major bonus.
The salad ingredients are customizable. Perhaps you’d add leftover grilled chicken, or add black beans and omit the bacon for a vegetarian version. Or maybe you prefer a different type of greens. I used kale here and think it’s perfect for hearty salads like this. I also roasted my corn instead of adding it raw, and leftover grilled corn is even better. I don’t really see any way to go wrong, especially when the salad gets drizzled with cool and creamy cilantro dressing. I added a jalapeño to my dressing, giving it just a hint of spice. The dressing, made a little thicker, also doubles as a fantastic dip for tortilla chips and/or taquitos.
- YIELD: 4 salads
For the dressing:
⅔ cup mayonnaise
½ cup sour cream or Greek yogurt
¼ cup milk or buttermilk
1½ tablespoons lime juice
Half a bunch cilantro
1 garlic clove, smashed
1-2 jalapeño peppers or other green chiles, seeded
1 green onion
Salt and pepper to taste
For the salad:
Kale or other salad greens
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
2 hard boiled eggs, thinly sliced
2-3 radishes, thinly sliced
1 large cucumber, thinly sliced
1 cup cooked corn kernels
1 avocado, thinly sliced
1 cup crumbled queso fresco
Combine all the ingredients for the dressing in the bowl of a food processor or blender. Pulse/blend until smooth, then add salt and pepper to taste. You can also use an immersion blender (my preferred way to make dressings like this). Refrigerate for at least an hour. The extra dressing can be kept for at least a week.
Divide the greens among wide, shallow bowls. Arrange the remaining ingredients on top and drizzle with dressing.