***Cilantro Pepita Dressing*** 2 medium Anaheim chiles, roasted, peeled and seeded 1/3 cup roasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds) 2 cloves garlic, peeled 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper 1 teaspoon salt 12 ounces salad oil 1/4 cup red wine vinegar 5 tablespoons grated Cotija cheese (see note) 2 small bunches cilantro, stemmed 1 1/2 cup mayonnaise 1/4 cup water ***Salad*** 2 corn tortillas vegetable oil 1 large head romaine lettuce, rinsed and spun dry 1/3 cup finely grated Cotija cheese roasted red bell pepper, peeled and cut into julienne strips 1/2 cup pepitas (roasted pumpkin seeds)
Place all dressing ingredients except cilantro, mayonnaise and water in a blender of food processor. Blend approximately 10 seconds, and then add cilantro little by little until blended smooth. Depending on size of blender, it may be necessary to do in batches.
Place mayonnaise and water in a large stainless steel bowl, and mix with a wire whip until smooth. Add the blended ingredients to the mayonnaise mixture, and mix thoroughly. Place in an airtight container and refrigerate. Will keep for three days. Yields 1 quart.
To assemble salad: Cut corn tortillas into matchstick-size strips. Heat oil in saute pan; fry tortilla strips until crisp. Remove with slotted spoon, and drain on paper towels. Set aside. Tear romaine into bite-size pieces. Place greens on salad plates and ladle approximately 2 ounces of cilantro pepita dressing on each salad.
Sprinkle each dish with Cotija cheese and tortilla strips. Arrange four red pepper strips like spokes on the top of each salad, and garnish with whole pepitas.
Cotija cheese is a hard cheese, similar to Parmesan. It is available at some grocery stores and most Mexican markets.
This is a fantastic salad. I especially love the creamy and spicy blend of the dressing along with the sprinkle of tortilla chips and 'pepitos'! I brought it to a potluck and it was loved by all!
Jul 3, 2013
This recipe turned out fantastic! My wife made the salad part while I put together the dressing.
Jun 13, 2011
So delicious!!! My guests loved it! I actually didn't use the mayo- and the water it turned out Amazing-!!
Dec 14, 2007
This salad is fantastic! You can buy the dressing already prepared in the grocery store or Smart & Final, then just follow the rest of the directions... ALWAYS a hit!!!
Mar 12, 2006
Very good salad dressing. I substituted sunflower seeds for the pumpkin seeds (for convenience). It is my new favorite salad!!!
Feb 6, 2006
cook from Boston
This recipe is awesome. I have served it at several parties and brought it to potlucks and am always asked for the recipe.
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