Iceberg lettuce is making a comeback, I know it. Back in the day, this crunchy head was king, but with the introduction of leafy greens, it seems to have taken a bit of a back seat. No more! If you’ve passed up iceberg at the store, I urge you to give it another glance– and this salad is exactly why.
I really love wedge salads. A thick chunk of iceberg lettuce, usually smothered in a creamy dressing and then crowned with delicious toppings. It’s all about the texture, baby, and this salad is no exception.
Not only do you get the fresh crunch from the lettuce, but crispy fried tortilla strips have their contribution, as well. Don’t forget about the hearty black beans, sweet corn, red bell pepper, and queso fresco. This ain’t yo mama’s iceberg salad. (Although, I bet your mom’s is pretty good, too!)
Because of the mound of toppings this salad wears so well, it makes an excellent light meal. The protein from the beans and cheese along with a ton of fiber will leave you feeling satisfied until it’s time to move on to your next delicious meal.
Too little time? Try this hack! When I first tried the cilantro-lime ranch dressing for this recipe, I had to wonder why I don’t make homemade ranch more often. It’s pretty easy, can be customized to my taste and nutritional requirements, and is free of the artificial stuff found in the bottled version. Which brings me to my hack for today. Consider making a double or even triple batch of this dressing. Pop it in the fridge and ponder your next tasty victim. Will it be baby carrots? I think so! In a tuna salad? Ohh ho ho, yeah. How about slathered on a turkey sandwich? Yes, Siree Bob. With a bunch of homemade ranch dressing on hand, you won’t have to make it over and over, saving you time.
Here’s yet another time saving tip. You can easily substitute the fried tortilla strips on this salad for broken tortilla chips. The homemade ones are ridiculously addictive and will have people coming out of the cracks to steal a few when they smell the aroma of fried tortillas. They’re darn good, but tortilla chips will do just fine in a pinch.
What are your thoughts on iceberg as an emerging world power? What would you do with your tons of homemade cilantro-lime ranch dressing? Fill us in, we’d love to pick your brain. See you soon!
- 6 (6-inch) corn tortillas
- vegetable oil for frying
- ½ cup sour cream
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon lime zest
- 3 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 small clove garlic, minced
- ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 head iceberg lettuce
- 1 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
- 1 cup cooked black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 small red bell pepper, small diced
- 1 serrano chile, seeded and minced
- 4 ounces crumbled queso fresco
- salt and pepper to taste
- Place a medium skillet or saucepan over medium heat. Add enough vegetable oil so that it is at least 1 ½ inches deep. Be sure to leave at least 2 inches of the pan unfilled to account for the addition of the tortillas. Heat the oil to 350ºF.
- While the oil is heating, cut the tortillas into ½-inch strips. Cut the tortilla strips, again, crosswise then separate the tortilla strips from each other.
- Carefully add the tortillas to the oil and fry until crispy, about 5 minutes. You will know when they’re done when the bubbling of the oil decreases. This means that there is less water left in the tortillas, which equals crispy strips. You’ll know you’ve overcooked them, when the tortilla strips start to change to a brown color. Transfer the tortilla strips to a paper towel lined plate and season with salt.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the sour cream, mayo, lime zest, lime juice, garlic, cilantro, salt and pepper. Set aside.
- To prepare the head of iceberg, wash, then firmly hit the bottom of the head (stem side down) onto a flat surface. Pull out the stem, which should be loosened now. Cut the head into 4 equal wedges and place each on a plate.
- Drizzle the wedges with the dressing and evenly distribute the corn, beans, red bell pepper, serrano, queso fresco, and fried tortilla strips. Enjoy immediately.