This weekend in Colorado felt like winter. It was in the 40s and MAYBE the 50s, and it rained. SO WEIRD.
If you’ve ever been to Colorado, we’re used to sunny days and warm days (as of late.) While there’s many people excited about the extra moisture we got, I’m not one of them. I’m just ready for it to feel like summer again!
When my friend Deb and I talked about getting together this weekend, it was before this wave of yucky weather rolled in. We didn’t let it get in our way though.
Whenever we all get together for dinner, we all bring something to contribute to the meal. When it was decided that it would be a fiesta, I knew immediately what I wanted my dish to be: Southwestern Caesar Salad.
I was at Montelucia last weekend, I couldn’t get enough of their Southwestern Caesar salad and was determined to figure out how to make it at home. And, ideally… I was determined to make it a healthy version.
I’m not 100% sure that I got as healthy as I’d like it to be, but it was incredibly delicious for my first attempt! The crowd seemed to enjoy it as well!
Southwestern Caesar Salad
2 romaine hearts, washed and torn into bite-sized pieces
1 red pepper, sliced
1/2 red onion, sliced into rings
1 package grape tomatoes
1/2 english cucumber, quartered
1 ear corn
1 package tortilla strips
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp. anchovy paste
1 ½ teaspoons black pepper, ground
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cumin, ground
½ teaspoon coriander, ground
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup cold water
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon Thai chili paste (more to taste)
1/2 teaspoon lemon, juiced
1/2 teaspoon lime, juiced
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated fine
1. Spray a grill pan with Pam cooking spray. Add onions and peppers. Grill them until they soften and have grill marks. Remove to a small bowl while the remainder of the veggies are cooked.
2. Follow the same process for the grape tomatoes. Remove to bowl once done.
3. Grill an ear of corn. Once it has pretty grill marks, remove from the grill. Cut the corn from the cob and place it in a separate small bowl.
Note: I tried to use the grill pan, but ended up moving the corn to my outdoor grill.
4. Place the veggies in the refrigerator to cool while you prepare the dressing.
5. Combine the egg yolk, garlic, mustard, anchovy, pepper, salt, cumin, coriander, Worcestershire and water in the work bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Process until smooth. Note: The anchovy paste was almost too much for me to handle. I know that caesar has anchovy in it… but I just tried not to even think about this ingredient as I added it.
6. Next, add the oil, bit by bit, until the emulsion forms and the sauce has thickened. When all of the oil has been incorporated, add the chili paste, citrus juices and cheese. Process until smooth and taste to adjust the seasoning, if necessary.
Move the dressing to a container with a lid, and move to the refrigerator to chill. I like mason jars because you can easily shake up the dressing and pour it on a salad. You pick though!
7. Begin to assemble the salad. Add lettuce to a large bowl, followed by the quartered cucumbers.
8. Add the grilled veggies to the salad.
9. Top the veggies with the grilled corn.
10. Refrigerate the salad until you’re ready to serve it. Right before you serve the salad, toss it with the tortilla strips and the dressing. Note: I didn’t use all the dressing on the salad. Use only as much as you think you need.