This is a copycat recipe that approximates the Mexican Caesar Salad served in El Torito Restaurants. It’s pretty darned close!
Dressing: (Makes one pint)
- 1 medium Anaheim pepper, roasted, peeled and seeded*
- 3 Tbsp pepitas
- 1-2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1/8 tsp pepper
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 T red wine vinegar
- 3 T Cotija cheese, grated (or Parmesan)
- 1 small bunch cilantro, stemmed
- 3/4 C vegetable oil
- 3/4 C mayonnaise
- 2 T water
- romaine lettuce, broken in crisp pieces
- strips of red bell pepper
- tortilla chips, crumbled (or toast/fry a slivered tortilla)
- extra pepita seeds
For the Dressing:
- Place Anaheim pepper, pepitas, garlic, pepper, salt, vinegar, and cheese in blender or food processor for 30 seconds to mince all ingredients.
- Add cilantro bit by bit until blended, then slowly add oil and blend for 1-2 minutes until there are no large bits in the dressing.
- Place mayonnaise and water in large bowl and whisk until smooth. Add processor mixture and blend thoroughly.
For the Full Salad:
- In large salad bowl, place torn Romaine lettuce and strips of red bell pepper. Add dressing and top with crumbled tortilla chips and extra pepita seeds.
- Refrigerate any leftover dressing in airtight container. Dressing may be stored up to 3 days.
To roast the Anaheim pepper, put it on an oiled pan under the broiler, turning frequently as it chars. If you have a gas cooktop, you can turn it over a low flame (un-oiled). Once it is blackened all over, place it in a small paper bag, sealed, to steam 10 minutes, before removing the skin and seeds (or retain charred peel if you like the flavor as I do).