MEXICAN CAESAR SALAD
Look out, world. My favorite kind of food just met my favorite kind of salad. And the result is everything I'd hoped it would be. Seriously, this recipe is everything I love about a rich and creamy Caesar salad…but kicked up a notch with lots of my favorite Mexi ingredients (think: creamy avocado, crunchy pepitas, salty tortilla chips, fresh cilantro, zesty cotija, y más)…and then lightened up a notch with lots and lots of fresh kale and a lighter Caesar dressing (featuring lots of Greek yogurt and fresh lime juice). The dressing recipe is also on my website www.therantingcook.com
So basically, you have every excuse in the book to go back for seconds, right?! Feel free to add grilled chicken, shrimp or steak to this salad, or serve it as is.
5-6 cups roughly-chopped dinosaur (lacinato) kale leaves, tough stems removed
4 cups roughly-chopped Romaine lettuce
1 cup fried tortilla strips, homemade* or storebought
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1/3 cup toasted pepitas (hulled pumpkin seeds)
1 avocado, peeled, pitted and thinly sliced
1 batch Greek Yogurt Caesar Dressing (which I recommend making with lime juice, instead of lemon juice, for this recipe)
crumbled cotija cheese or queso fresco
Combine kale, Romaine, tortilla strips, cilantro, pepitas, and avocado in a large mixing bowl. Drizzle evenly with the Caesar dressing, and toss to combine.
Serve immediately, sprinkled with crumbled cotija or queso fresco.
You can either buy crispy tortilla strips at the store (they’re usually in the salad dressing section). Or if you’d like to make them homemade, just cut a bunch of corn tortillas into small strips. Fill a small saucepan or sauté pan 1/2-inch full of oil. Heat over medium-high heat, until the oil sizzles when you add a drop of water. (If it sputters and splatters, the oil is too hot — turn it down.) Add in a handful of the tortilla strips and fry for 1-2 minutes, or until they start getting golden and crispy. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the tortilla strips to a paper-towel-covered plate, and let cool. Repeat with remaining tortilla strips until all are fried.