Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Southwest Salad With Ranch Salsa Dressing

This is one of my favorite salads. Crisp greens and a delicious combination of fresh vegetables, olives, and black beans, tossed with a tangy ranch salsa dressing. Crunchy tortilla chips and roasted pepitas are added just before serving, and you have the perfect vegetarian main dish salad. Throw in some grilled chicken, beef or pork for added protein if you wish, but I like it as is.

The Ranch Salsa Dressing is the perfect finishing touch; tangy and spicy. I make batches all the time. It is wonderful on salads, but I also like it as aa dip for corn tortilla chips and fresh vegetables. It is also really good drizzled on tacos, baked potatoes or steamed vegetables. I provide the recipe for making this dressing from scratch, but if you are pressed for time, purchase best quality prepared ranch dressing and add a couple of tablespoons of salsa. I do not recommend buying the powdered ranch mix. The ingredients and preservatives in the ingredients scare me!

Southwest Salad
(serves 10)

10 cups romaine lettuce, washed, dried and torn into bite-sized pieces
1 cup small cherry tomatoes
1 cup sliced red onions
1 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained (or use fresh)
1 cup sweet corn (frozen and defrosted or fresh)
1 cup sliced red bell pepper
1 cup shredded red cabbage
1/2 black olives (sliced)
1/2 cup sliced radishes
Ranch Salsa Dressing (recipe follows)
2 handfuls corn tortilla chips, crushed
1/2 cup pepitas, toasted
sea salt
black pepper

Place lettuce in a large bowl. Arrange the remaining vegetables as pictured in the first photo. Add 1/4 cup Ranch Salsa Dressing. Toss. Add additional dressing as desired. Add the chips and pepitas along with a large pinch salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasonings and/or dressing as desired.
Tip. Assemble the salad earlier in the day you plan to serve. Do not add dressing, chips or nuts until just before serving.

Ranch Salsa Dressing
(makes 3 cups)

3/4 cup sour cream
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup buttermilk, plus additional to thin1/2 cup chopped Italian parsley
1/4 cup chopped dill
2 tablespoons chopped basil
1/4 cup minced chives
1 garlic clove, finely  minced
1 tablespoon white onion, minced
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons salsa (this recipe or best quality purchased brand)
sea salt
black pepper

Combine sour cream, mayonnaise, buttermilk, parsley, dill, basil, chives, garlic, onion, Worcestershire sauce and salsa in a medium-sized bowl. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasonings if desired. Chill in refrigerator for a minimum of two hours (4-6 is best). Thin with additional buttermilk if needed when ready to toss with your salad. 

Keep covered in the fridge. Makes a terrific dip for chips or fresh vegetables. Drizzle over baked potatoes or steamed veggies.

It is Spring Salad Greens Week at Food Network's Sensational Sides roundup. Do you have a favorite green salad recipe to share? Please list (or link) in the comments below. And be sure to check out the other delicious sounding recipes from my blogger friends and Food Network. 

Devour: 6 Protein-Heavy Salads to Make Your Desk Lunch Less Sad
Homemade Delish: 
Napa Cabbage, Mango and Bacon Salad
Dishin & Dishes: 
Buddha Power Bowl
Creative Culinary: 
Iceberg Wedge Salad with Bacon, Croutons and Buttermilk Herb Dressing
Napa Farmhouse 1885: 
Green Salad With Emerald Green Vinaigrette
Red or Green: 
Southwest Salad With Ranch Salsa Dressing
Healthy Eats: 
Balance Spring Meals with These Leafy Green Side Salads
The Ultimate Green Salad
Taste with the Eyes: 
Blackened Barramundi Salad, Blackberry Vinaigrette
The Mom 100: 
Pea Shoot Salad with Shrimp, Goat Cheese and Citrus Vinaigrette
FN Dish: 
How to Eat Salad for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner (and Not Be Mad About It)


I have started sharing my newest blog "California Girl in Taos."  Please visit and let me know what you think.


  1. Delicious, since I am on diet these days, I look for recipes for salad and this one is perfect. Thank you for sharing it with us, need to try this one out

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