Having access to amazing produce year-round in the Bay Area makes it easy to enjoy fresh salads all year long. This past winter we really got into making incredible salads that could go from being a side dish all the way to the main star at the dinner table. This recipe for a Mexican Cobb Salad with Cilantro Chipotle Vinaigrette has quickly become a favorite at our home as it is loaded with fresh ingredients and creamy Cacique® cheese.
While I have the luxury of working from home, and being able to start a meal during the day is easy enough to do, there are days where I have no desire at all. That is when I like to turn to quick and easy, not to mention healthy recipes to serve during meals. This Mexican Cobb Salad is exactly that, quick, easy and healthy. If I have time during the day, I will roast chicken breasts to have on hand for lunches as well as for this salad. Otherwise, I pick up a roasted chicken from the market and use the breast meat. As well, I will use frozen or fresh corn depending on the season though I have to say there is nothing like fresh summer corn being tossed into the mix.
The Cacique® cheese that I like to use in this salad recipe is the Panela. Besides being a great addition to this recipe; it is also really good as a snacking cheese. I like this cheese’s creamy curd-like texture as it is easy to crumble over the top of this salad just before serving. The mild flavor is perfect with the smoky vinaigrette and it helps balance all the flavors that are taking place in the recipe. Honestly, I usually cannot stop myself from snacking on half of the cheese while making this recipe; it is that good.
Creating a balanced and easy dinner is essential for busy weeknights, and this Mexican Cobb Salad with Cilantro Chipotle Vinaigrette is exactly the recipe that will get you to the dinner table in 30 minutes. Then you can relax and enjoy your meal.
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WHAT YOU NEED
- 1 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 medium lime, juiced
- 1 small chipotle pepper from adobo sauce
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 small head of romaine lettuce
- 1 15 ounce can kidney beans
- 1 cup of corn kernels (one large ear of corn or frozen corn that has been thawed and drained)
- 1/2 pint cherry tomatoes
- 1 2 lb. chicken breast, cooked and shredded
- 3 green onions
- 1 avocado
- 1/2 package Cacique® Panela cheese
- 3 corn tortillas
HOW TO MAKE IT
- Preheat oven to 425°F.
- Cut the tortillas into strips and lightly toss with a little olive oil. Spread onto a baking sheet, and bake for 8 minutes, stirring after the first 4 minutes. Set aside when finished baking.
- In a food processor combine the cilantro leaves, olive oil, lime juice and the chipotle pepper. Blend until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.
- Wash the romaine lettuce and dry with paper towels. Roughly chop and place into a large salad bowl.
- Drain the kidney beans and rinse well. Set aside.
- Cut the kernels off of the corn cob, using a bread knife makes it really easy. Or if you are using frozen corn, make sure to thaw and then drain well.
- Cut the cherry tomatoes in half.
- Slice the green onions into thin slices.
- Place the kidney beans, corn kernels, cherry tomatoes and shredded chicken breast onto the romaine lettuce. Sprinkle with the Cacique® Panela cheese, and the green onion. Just before serving add slices of avocado and the tortilla strips. Drizzle the dressing over the top.