Sunday, July 29, 2012

macho salad with cornbread croutons and champagne vinaigrette

After a long day spent at the beach, I like to cook a quick and light meal for dinner. This salad comes to the rescue; it’s packed with flavorful and healthy ingredients, is light but satisfying.

Macho salad with cornbread croutons is served at a popular West Los Angeles restaurant, Brandera. It’s my favorite salad, so I had to recreate it and this one comes pretty darn close to the real thing. Bandera’s bakes their own cornbread with chopped jalapeño and two kinds of cheeses in individual sized skillets, but you can use any cornbread or do what I often do, buy pre-made cornbread from your grocery store’s bakery.

Maybe this salad was named “Macho” because even men will order and devour this salad. Ingredients such as roasted chicken, goat cheese, dates, avocado, and corn make this salad filling and a complete meal. The champagne vinaigrette, quickly mixed in a mason jar, adds a crisp touch and don’t forget the final topping of crunchy cornbread croutons. It is a bowl full of deliciousness. No wonder it's a Bandera menu favorite.

This summer, I brought the beach into my home by decorating in beach chic décor. You don’t need to live by the beach to create a charming beach atmosphere; just some beach inspired basics is all that is needed.  Try mixing some of the following into your home to create a simple beach look.
  • Wooden whimsical beach signs 
  • Wood bowls, hurricane lamps, glass jars and lanterns filled with sand and seashells 
  • Pillows decorated with fish, seashells, or coral 
  • Frames decorated with seashells 
  • Rattan or bamboo serving mats with shells or coral napkin rings

    Have fun decorating large or small spaces or even just a table top for summer entertaining. Hopefully these simple beach chic decor tips, even for a small space, will add a calming beach mood to your surroundings.

    macho salad with cornbread croutons and champagne vinaigrette
    Serves 4 to 6

    For the cornbread croutons: 

    Cool cornbread completely 

    Cut into 1 inch cubes

    Place on baking sheet sprayed with Pam

    Bake at 325 degrees for 25 minutes (flip sides ½ way through cooking)

    Set aside until salad is assembled.

    For the champagne vinaigrette: 

    1/4-cup spicy brown mustard

    1 teaspoon lemon juice

    1/4 cup champagne vinegar

    1 tablespoon brown sugar

    1 teaspoon kosher salt

    1/2 teaspoon black pepper

    2 cloves garlic, minced

    1-cup extra virgin olive oil

    Place all ingredients in a mason jar, close lid and shake vigorously until well blended. Set aside. 

    For the macho salad: 

    1 large size prepackaged spring lettuce

    1 purchased rotisserie chicken (any left over chicken will do), skin removed and cut into large chunks 

    1 can fresh corn kernels, drained

    1 cup grape tomatoes cut in 1/2

    1 cup medjool dates, roughly chopped

    2 ripe avocados, diced

    1 cup sliced almonds

    6 oz goat cheese, crumbled

    To assemble:

    In a large bowl, add lettuce, corn, tomatoes, avocado, dates, and mounds of crumbled goat cheese.  Top with chicken, almonds, add desired amount of vinaigrette and mix.  

    To serve top with several cornbread croutons.


    1. Looks beautiful, filling and easy! Yummy!

    2. Fantastic looking salad, and I'd love to taste cornbread croutons!

    3. Hi,
      nice recipe, thinking of to try out some day!



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