Ramshackle Ranch Salad

Ramshackle Ranch Salad

It’s been years since a good, simple ranch dressing has graced the menu at Estia’s Little Kitchen. Inspired by Julia Moskin’s article “Ranch Nation” (Sept. 2018 NY Times) I put this recipe into play. The dressing is not original ranch style in that it doesn’t contain mayo. Instead, yogurt and red wine vinegar have been added, along with egg yolks to tighten it up.

For years my dinner menu has featured a Crisp California Chicken, finished with agave/chili sauce which has been made to order. Fingers crossed that this new salad finds an audience. The agave/chili sauce will now be prepped in advance and used on both dishes. I think it goes as close as our kitchen will to a simple, light buffalo chicken wing sauce. With that in mind, the salad is finished with just enough blue cheese to counter point the sweetness that the agave lends to the salad.

Ramshackle Ranch Dressing Ingredients:

  • ½ cup Greek yogurt
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ½ cup roasted garlic puree (simmer garlic cloves in veg. oil til brown, strain and puree the cloves)
  • ½ teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 3 tablespoons chopped mint
  • 3 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro

Combine all ingredients in a blender and run until smooth. Add herbs last.

California Chicken – Agave Chili Sauce Ingredients:

  • ½ cup agave
  • ½ cup sriracha sauce
  • 2 finely diced jalapeño peppers
  • 2 finely diced cloves garlic
  • 4 tablespoons veg oil
  • 4 tablespoons lime juice

Combine all ingredients in a blender and run til smooth.

To assemble the Ramshackle Ranch Salad

  • 2 chicken breasts, sliced
  • flour and Panko
  • 2 heads crisp, clean romaine
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 cup crumbled blue cheese
  • ½ small red onion, sliced thin
  • 2 plum tomatoes, chopped
  • 6 corn tortillas, shredded and fried

Roll sliced chicken breasts in egg whites, then flour and Panko. Fry until golden. Finish with agave/chili sauce.

Remove the outer leaves from the romaine heads, chop the leaves & toss with ramshackle ranch dressing, sliced onions & tomato.

Place the inner leaves of the romaine heads on each of 4 plates. Top the inner leaves with chopped salad. Top with Pablo crusted chicken breast.

Garnish the plate with sliced avocado, blue cheese & shredded corn chips.

Have your say