I have a thing for summer food. What do I mean by “a thing”? Well soups, stews, and roasts are great, but what I really want year round is to be able to eat something light, flavorful, and that hopefully was grilled outside. This summer salad hits all the marks.
This is no wimpy salad with greens so underdressed they choke you on the way down. This is a crisp and filling salad that uses up the leftovers from your summer barbeque so well you’ll start making extra just so you can have it. It has all the good parts of a salad – flavor, fresh veggies, croutons, and an awesome homemade dressing (!) and none of the bad. For those that don’t like salads, this is how to make one you’ll actually enjoy eating!
The dressing is made with roasted poblano peppers for a slightly smoky and spicy kick and blended with cilantro and garlic to keep with the southwestern/mexican flair. It’s made creamy with a little mayo, but mostly greek yogurt to keep it on the healthier side. Let me just tell you – this stuff is good. The recipe makes more than you’ll need for one salad, but that’s a good thing. If I leave this out I find myself dipping all sorts of things in it – tortilla chips, veggies, a piece of popcorn…seriously…
The second best part of this salad (besides the dressing) is that it’s chock full of contrasting flavors and textures. Crisp lettuce, crunchy croutons, salty parmesan, sweet corn, sharp onion, tender chicken, and of course creamy avocado. There’s nothing worse than eating an unsatisfying salad and so when I make one I put all the toppings. And, you know, if you’re looking for a great homemade crouton recipe, I happen to have one right over here.
- 2 medium poblano peppers
- Small handful cilantro, roughly chopped
- 2-3 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
- 1 green onion, roughly chopped
- ½ c. whole milk plain greek yogurt
- ¼ c. mayo
- 1 T. lime juice
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- Sturdy lettuce (romaine, red leaf, butter, etc.)
- 1 ear corn on the cob
- Leftover barbecue chicken
- Cherry tomatoes
- Red onion
- ½ avocado
- Parmesan or other salty cheese
- If you have a gas stove turn your burner to high and balance the peppers right over the flames. Allow to roast, turning as needed, until the skins are almost completely blackened. If you don’t have a gas stove you can achieve the same effect by using your oven’s broiler. Remove to a plastic bag or covered bowl to allow to steam as they cool down.
- Once poblanos have been resting for about 15 minutes, remove to a cutting board. Remove as much of the charred skin as you can (if you’re having trouble use a paper towel to help you get better grip) as well as the seeds and stem. Roughly chop the peppers and add them to the base of a blender with the remaining ingredients. Blend until thoroughly combined, about 30 seconds.
- Bring a shallow pan of water large enough to lay the corn in to a simmer. Remove husk and silk from corn and add to the pan. Simmer for about 2 minutes, flipping so all sides get cooked. Remove and allow to cool while you prep the rest of the ingredients.
- Shred or slice chicken, halve cherry tomatoes, cube avocado, and use a vegetable peeler to shave strips of parmesan. Halve red onion through the end, then cut thin slices crosswise. Slice kernels off of corn cob.
- Assemble the salad using as much of each ingredients as you like and toss with the dressing.