Remember last week when I suggested that you spend one million dollars at the farmers market to build a delicious salad? I complained that there was no possible way to recreate such deliciousness from a regular, old supermarket salad? That if you cared about your taste buds, then you should hand over your Benjamins for some mixed greens, or else. That if you are a true foodie, you will remortgage your house for rocket and mesculen.
Want to keep it real? How about this whammy: I heart iceberg lettuce. I love the light, fresh, crispy crunch of each nutrient void bite.
We all have our strengths, right? Well, iceberg excels where mixed greens fail: the snap factor. Bend a piece of iceberg lettuce and you will hear the lettuce snap as it breaks in half. Bend a mixed green in half and, well, nothing happens; it just folds like a limp napkin. The problem with iceberg is that most restaurants use it in inappropriate ways. Namely next to watery supermarket tomatoes, limp cucumbers, and mayo-laden blue cheese dressing. Yuck.
But not this salad. This salad is fresh, light, and packed with flavor. It's a spin on my favorite salad from Mixt Greens.
It's better, though.
It's better because I grilled the chicken after seasoning it with chipotle spice (plus a little salt).
It's better because I made this cilantro-lime dressing. It's simple: handful of cilantro, a clove of garlic, 1/4 cup olive oil, 1/2 cup lime juice, a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, and a tablespoon of sugar. Process these ingredients in a food processor. Taste. Adjust. Drizzle it over the salad, coating iceberg's pale leaves with speckles of cilantro and the shine of olive oil. Careful not to overdress, saving some dressing for your next salad.
The salad includes red onion, cilantro, black beans, sharp cheddar cheese, and--yes please-- iceberg lettuce.
If you are addicted to crunch like I am, add crumbled tortilla chips to top it off. All of these items you will find in the produce section or aisle 9. Some might even be on sale. I found my iceberg head displayed at HMart for $1.29. It's a bargain salad!
p.s., Not convinced of iceberg's virtue? Read The Ice Queen, The rise and fall of America's favorite lettuce by Irene Sax. It is, without a doubt, one of my favorite pieces of food writing. Ever.