My favorite special salad.

This is definitely not our go-to everyday salad, but it is a great treat for every once in awhile, and makes an appearance throughout our summers. It is from the Colorado Collage cookbook from the Junior League of Denver (with a few of my own notes added).

Southwestern Ceasar Dressing

  • 3 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 shallots, peeled
  • 4 anchovy fillets
  • 2 fresh jalapeno peppers, cored and seeded
  • 2 cups loosely packed, chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Romano cheese
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • salt
  • 1 cup olive oil

Combine all ingredients except olive oil in food processor or blender. While blades are running, slowly add in olive oil and blend until smooth. Cover and chill. (In my experience, this makes enough for MANY salads).

Chili Croutons

  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 loaf french bread, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In large bowl, combine melted butter and spices. Add bread cubes and toss to coat. Spread in single layer on baking pan. Bake 8-10 minutes, until crisp and golden brown, stirring occasionally. Remove from oven and set aside to cool. (I use more spices and less butter, though it’s probably best with the full amount of butter!)

Salad

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 cups fresh corn kernals or frozen corn kernals, thawed
  • 3 romaine lettuce hearts or 2 large heads romaine lettuce, torn into bite size pieces and chilled
  • 2 red bell peppers roasted, peeled, seeded, and cut into strips (or fresh, or leave out)
  • 1/2 cup drained, chopped oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Romano cheese

In skillet, heat 1 tsp olive oil over medium heat. Add corn and cook 4 minutes. (I add chili powder to the oil and heat up before adding corn). Remove with slotted spoon and set aside. In large bowl, combine lettuce and half of the dressing. (Or however much you want – I use much less than half). Toss to coat. Add cooled croutons and toss. Arrange roasted bell pepper strips in spoke pattern around edge of bowl and sprinkle with reserved corn, sun-dried tomatoes, and Romano. (I mix all of these ingredients in and usually leave out the peppers because it is a time-intensive task to make them). Pass remaining dressing.

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