Southwestern seven-layer salad is a fresh take on traditional seven-layer salad, a standby at potlucks all over the South.
I don’t know how many times I’ve talked about my grandmother on here, but I know it’s been a lot. I honestly don’t know whether she cooked a lot out of true passion for the act of cooking itself or if it was just what was expected in her day, but she cooked dinner from scratch every night and baked lots of cakes and cookies and other stuff. I have so many memories of foods that she made, but sadly, I don’t remember the flavors of a lot of them because I didn’t eat them.
Say what? I was a young, stupid kid. As I skim through her recipe books, full of cards in her handwriting and clippings from newspapers and magazines, I recognize a lot of the recipes…but a lot of them I never, ever tasted. Maybe they contained onions, or they were a weird vegetable that I didn’t eat…at any rate, there were quite a few things on my grandparents’ table that I wouldn’t touch with a ten-foot pole. One of those was seven-layer salad.
Iceberg lettuce layered with bacon, cheese (Kraft parmesan! From a can!), peas, green onions, green peppers, and a mayo/sour cream dressing…that was the combination that my grandmother used (I think?). My mom uses cheddar cheese. And I eat it now! I started thinking, though…what could I do to change it up a little bit? There are so many seven-layer salad recipes on the internet…you guys don’t need another one. Then I realized-Southwestern seven-layer salad? Romaine, black beans, tomatoes, avocado, green onions, Monterey jack cheese, and ranch dressing? Yes, please! Southwestern seven-layer salad was a good idea indeed.
Yield: 8-12 servings
20 minPrep Time:
- 1/4 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1 green onion
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/4-1/2 cup cilantro, depending on your tastes
- juice of 1 small lime
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
- 1 hearts of Romaine, chopped, washed, and dried
- 2 cups black beans-drained and rinsed
- 2 large tomatoes-seeded, cored, and diced
- 2 avocados-seeded and diced
- 2 cups corn kernels (about 4 ears of fresh corn)
- 4 ounces Monterey jack cheese-grated
- To make the dressing, combine all the ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until well combined and all ingredients are well-chopped. If you don't have a food processor or blender, finely chop the green onion and the garlic and whisk the dressing by hand. Refrigerate until ready to serve. (makes about 1 cup of dressing, which is just enough for this salad).
- Spread the Romaine lettuce in a deep, wide bowl (a trifle bowl is perfect here). Layer the ingredients on top of the lettuce in this order: black beans, corn, tomatoes, and avocado.
- Pour the ranch dressing evenly over the salad. Top with the Monterey jack cheese. Cover with a lid or plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.
Click here to print the recipe for Southwestern seven-layer salad!