One of my favorite salads…the Santa Fe Salad at the Cheesecake Factory (minus the chicken of course). I decided to try and replicate it for our holiday party this year. I found many different websites trying to replicate the salad dressing. This recipe was adapted from cdkitchen. I felt like the original recipe was missing some flavor so I decided to add some peanut butter and a little more agave nectar. I also topped the salad with some freshly fried corn tortilla strips to add some texture.
The end result was pretty close to the original salad I love at Cheesecake Factory, and more importantly, absolutely delicious! It’s a great feeling when you can recreate some of your favorite restaurant recipes at home!
Santa Fe Salad
For the Salad (The amount of ingredients will depends on how many people you have and how much salad you tend on serving them):
- romaine lettuce or mixed greens , slivered
- corn kernels , frozen (defrosted) or fresh
- black beans , canned and rinsed
- tomatoes , chopped
- red and/or green bell peppers , sliced and halved once
- freshly fried corn tortilla strips , or crushed store-bought tortilla chips
- avocado , diced
For the Dressing:
- 3 cloves fresh garlic crushed
- 1 tbsp fresh ginger minced
- 2 tbsp cilantro stems trimmed, rinsed well
- 1/2 cup fresh lime juice
- 1 1/2 teasp white wine vinegar
- 1/2 teasp ground cumin
- 3/4 teasp salt
- 1/2 teasp freshly grounded pepper
- 1.5 tbsp pure maple syrup
- 1/2 cup vegan parmesan cheese , such as Violife or Follow Your Heart (optional)
- 2-3 tbsp peanut butter , smooth
- 1/2 cup avocado oil
- 1/4 cup olive oil
To Make the Dressing:
- Add the cilantro, crushed garlic, minced ginger, spices, lime juice, vinegar, maple syrup, and vegan parmesan cheese (if using) into a food processor or blender.
- Process until well mixed.
- Add the peanut butter and process until mixed well.
- While the motor is running, slowly pour the oil through the feed tube. Let it process for 1 more minute.
- If you find yourself looking for more of the peanut taste, feel free to add more peanut butter. Also, depending on how sour your limes are, feel free to add more/less honey (as mine were pretty sour).
To Make the Salad:
- Cut corn tortilla rounds into small strips and fry (or crush up some store-bought tortilla chips)
- Toss all ingredients of the salad in a large bowl except avocado and fried tortilla strips.
- Top the salad with avocado and fried tortilla strips.
- Toss with the dressing and enjoy!