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Summer chopped salad with homemade dressing

Mix things up a little this summer. This chopped salad is sure to become a new favourite. The best part: the homemade dressing!

Chopped_salad

Salads are a staple in my family. The go-to is a kale salad with various fixings. But despite how much we love our classic combinations, it’s nice to mix things up a bit. My sister found this recipe and rightfully shared it with me after she whipped it up.

This Southwestern Chopped Salad is filled with so many delicious flavours, textures and a killer dressing. It makes lots, so it’s a great one to make if you’re expecting guests over for a summer barbecue. A big part of what makes a salad great is the dressing. I really don’t like the generic store-bought ones. A standard simple option is an oil and vinegar combination, which is great in its simplicity.

RELATED: The swap: Bottled dressings for homemade

But then there are dressings like this one. Made from fresh ingredients, so simple, and ridiculously flavourful, it’s a dressing that totally brings the salad to the next level. My nephew who’s only 16 months old always licks the spoon once my sister has finished making it (and is consequently left with an adorable green little face). He’s the only one in the family who can pull off sticking his hand into the container to scrape out the last little droplets of dressing. I’m only a little bit jealous…

Southwestern Chopped Salad

Courtesy of the Garden Grazer

INGREDIENTS:

– Large head of romaine

– 15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained

– 1 large orange bell pepper

– 1 pint cherry tomatoes or 1 large tomato, diced

– 2 cups corn

– 5 green onions

For the dressing:

– 1 cup loosely packed cilantro, stems removed and roughly chopped

– ½ avocado (or ½ cup plain vegan yogurt)

– 2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice (about ½ lime), more to taste

– 1-2 garlic cloves

– ¼ cup olive oil

– 1 ½ tsp. white wine vinegar

– ⅛ tsp. salt

DIRECTIONS: 

1. Make the dressing: puree all ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.

2. Finely chop romaine, bell pepper, tomatoes and green onions.

3. Place all ingredients in a large bowl and stir to combine.

4. Toss with dressing.

5. Garnish with black pepper and crushed tortilla chips if you desire.