Friday, April 30, 2010

Chipotle Salad

It's clear to me from all the enthusiastic comments on my last post that you readers are just crazy about my salad recipes. Who am I to argue with popular demand?

Chipotle. I'm not talking about the smoked jalapeno (we'll get there), I'm talking about the fast food restaurant. I love Chipotle. I crave Chipotle. No, that's not quite right. I love and crave Chipotle's salad dressing. SERIOUSLY. It's so good - spicy, sweet, tangy, peppery, and neon orange. I could almost drink it.

I never ever feel bad or guilty after eating at Chipotle, because they use real food. But I wanted to try it from scratch at home with a few substitutions. It was ridiculously time consuming! But so worth it because I ate a gigantic and delicious supper and have lots of leftovers. And the salad dressing - OMG. Fabulous. I totally nailed it.

So, if you haven't had a Chipotle salad before - I am sorry! Here's how I always order mine. Start with romaine lettuce. Top with Chipotle's cilantro-lime rice. I wanted something healthier than white rice so I used this Harvest Grain blend that I picked up at Trader Joe's.

It's Israeli couscous, orzo pasta, baby garbanzo beans, and quinoa. After simmering in salted boiling water for 10 minutes the grains are soft. Add juice of 1 lime and a big handful of chopped cilantro.

Put a big scoop of your cilantro-lime grain on top of your romaine lettuce.

Chipotle offers you their fajita veggies (onions and green peppers). I used an orange pepper and added mushrooms and asparagus and stir fried them all on very high heat in a wok.

Put your fajita veggies on top of your lettuce, cilantro-lime grain, and some cumin-seasoned black beans.

Add your fresh tomato salsa, fresh guacamole, and a couple freshly baked corn tortilla chips.

Top with the un-freaking-believable chipotle salad dressing (recipe follows). Then add more. Then add some more. Don't be shy, take as much as you want. Chipotles are smoked jalapenos in a vinegary sauce with adobo spices. I used 2 in my dressing but I have a high spice tolerance so you maybe want to start with 1 if you're sensitive to heat.

Eat your delicious salad! I'm almost embarrassed to show you how huge this salad was. I ate every bite.

Something's missing, though. What could it be?

Ah yeah, there it is! TGIF!

Chipotle Salad Dressing
2 chipotle peppers
1 teaspoon of the adobo sauce from the can of chipotles
juice of 1 very juicy lime (or 2 regular limes)
2 Tbsp honey
1 tsp salt
lots and lots of freshly cracked black pepper
3/4 - 1 cup olive oil

Blend all ingredients in blender until well emulsified. Taste for seasoning and add more of any ingredients to suit your taste.


  1. OMG, That looks so good, do you think that you could buy me a bag on those beans Im sure they dont have anything like that in fergus.. Also are you still coming home this weekend??? Sorry to hear about the concert:(

  2. Girl, I will bring you so many TJ treats this weekend! See you Saturday!

  3. I am so hungry just looking at this!! Yum and its Cinco De Mayo too!