A lot of people don’t bother to make salads at home other than the garden variety, but I would wither and die without an interesting salad every week. This salad is based loosely on the incredibly delicious ‘Big Salad’ at Big Star (a sort of Mexican Caesar-Chop hybrid, I suppose). I added freeze dried corn, which retains all of its sweetness and adds a little bit of crunch. And I couldn’t resist including some crispy, thick cut bacon (duh). I then tossed everything together with a super easy creamy chipotle dressing and served it alongside a big hunk of grilled pork shoulder. My husband made Cheladas with Tecate, lime juice and kosher salt. Viva Chicago!
For the Creamy Chipotle Dressing:
1/4 C. good quality mayonnaise
1/2 C. plain yogurt (if using Greek yogurt, add 2 Tbsp. milk or water to thin)
1 chipotle chili in adobo (use half if you are nervous)
juice of 1 juicy or 2 crummy limes
3 or 4 springs cilantro, stems and leaves
S & P
Combine all ingredients in a blender and puree, scraping down the sides once or twice as necessary.
For the Salad:
1 large or 2 medium heads romaine lettuce, chopped and washed
4 strips thick cut bacon, cooked and chopped
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced and soaked in ice water for 15 minutes to mellow the heartburn factor
1 ripe avocado, diced
1 C. canned black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 C. crumbled cotija or feta cheese
1/2 C. freeze dried corn
1/2 an English cucumber, diced
For a nice presentation, you can assemble the salad as I did and then toss it together, but to simplify, just toss all the ingredients and the dressing together in a large bowl just before you are ready to eat.