Meet the next edition of my giant salad challenge! This “Mexican” green salad recipe is quite possibly the prettiest salad I’ve ever had the chance to photograph, too. Romaine lettuce and mixed spring greens, purple cabbage and cauliflower, cherry tomatoes, cucumber and red onion combine to create one stunning and delicious salad.
The idea behind the salad challenge is that I’m challenging you (and myself) to make an enormous green salad and some homemade dressing to go with it. If you store the salad and dressing separately in the refrigerator, you’ll have salad to last you all week long. I find that I eat a lot more greens and veggies this way, and I’m more likely to grab salad as a snack than a regrettable handful of chips.
I’ve enjoyed quite a few renditions of this salad over the past few months. It was inspired by a local restaurant called Taco Republic’s “Al Verde” salad, which includes Tuscan kale, roasted golden beets, and mayo-based dressing. I always get their salad to balance out the queso and chips I inevitably-but-not-regrettably order beforehand.
I ultimately decided on some ingredients that are a little easier to find at a regular grocery store and prepare for my salad. Freshly toasted pepitas offer a savory, nutty crunch, and creamy feta and avocado make this salad irresistible. This salad isn’t the quickest salad you’ll ever make, but it pays off in sheer quantity and flavor.
I also made my dressing lighter, although it’s still deliciously creamy, thanks to an olive oil and lime juice emulsion plus a tablespoon of tahini (which is optional). The dressing is based on the jalapeño-lime dressing in my cookbook (page 53). In the book, I offered four of my favorite make-ahead salad dressings, plus a simple five-step guide to creating an epic salad. You might want a copy (wink).