I’m excited to say that this week’s post features a “choose your own adventure” sort of scenario. The recipe is an old but fantastic one of my mother’s known as Mexican Caesar salad, which calls for either feta or cotija cheese. Both are equally delicious in their own right, so it really comes down to what direction you want your salad to take—do you want the tangy freshness of feta, or the smooth creaminess of cotija? Luckily, with this adventure, it’s impossible to go wrong.
Mexican Caesar Salad
Makes 4 servings
1/2 bunch cilantro, stemmed
1 4oz can diced green chiles
2 tbsp roasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
1 large clove garlic
3 oz salad oil
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
4 tsp cotija or feta cheese
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1-2 tbsp cold water
Salt and pepper to taste
1 large head romaine lettuce, chopped into bite-size pieces
4 tbsp crumbled cotija or feta cheese
1/4 cup pepitas
1 to 2 handfuls tortilla chips, crushed
For the dressing: Place all ingredients in a blender and blend for about 20 seconds, or until dressing is smooth. Taste and add more vinegar if necessary, then salt and pepper. Place in a jar and refrigerate. The dressing will thicken; if it’s too thick, add a bit of cold water and shake to combine until it’s the right consistency.
To assemble the salad, simply toss all the ingredients with the dressing. Or, if you’d prefer a more composed salad, drizzle the dressing over the greens and sprinkle with cheese, pepitas and crushed tortilla chips. Serve, savoring every last bite.