Wednesday, October 12, 2011

What's for Dinner?

Fall has arrived here on the Central Coast, which means a nice cool, crunchy salad is just the ticket. All natives know that now is when the mercury rises and the beach calls.  I love the fresh taste of this salad. Buy a rotisserie chicken from Costco or another grocery store to bulk up on protein if you like.  I have also seen El Torito bottled dressing in the store. I haven't tried it so can't say anything about it, but if you try it and like it, please let me know.  No picture today--please forgive me!

El Torito Caesar Salad

For the dressing:
1 medium sized can green chiles, canned
3 T roasted pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
1 large garlic clove
1/2 t salt
3/4 c olive oil
2 T red wine vinegar
3 T cotija cheese

Salad ingredients:
Romaine lettuce
tortilla chips, optional but very good
cotija cheese
red pepper, sliced into thin strips
chicken, optional

1. Whisk the mayo with 2 T water and set aside.  Toast the pumpkin seeds in a frying pan until fragrant and slightly brown.  Wash cilantro and pull off leaves from the stems.

2.  Place green chiles, pepitas, garlic, salt, pepper, olive oil, vinegar, 3 T cotija cheese and cilantro in a blender.  Add the mayo and water mixture and blend until well mixed. Taste dressing and adjust seasonings. Add more cheese, cilantro, or whatever is needed.  If not serving right away, cover and refrigerate dressing.

3.  Chop romaine lettuce, slice red peppers and shred the chicken. Crumble some cotija cheese and tortilla chips on top, add the dressing and mix well. Enjoy a nice salad for dinner!

posted by Joy Newman

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