I love salads; salads in the summer are such a wonderful and appropriate choice. Now, despite Wisconsin’s short comings, it does have some wonderful qualities, one of which are their farmer’s markets; here in Milwaukee we have a butt load of them. These farmers markets have such a wonderful array of fresh, local fruits and vegetables; I am excited to search for some great ingredients 🙂 These fresh ingredients will make up the bulk of my summer dishes this season. This salad is no exception with fresh, local red pepper, onion lettuce, cilantro, and avocado.
The red pepper and onion were sliced and cooked along with the chicken in a cast iron skillet, first on the stove top to char the vegetables, then finished in the oven. The chicken is very moist and juicy when done; sliced and ready to serve on top of the salad.
The other great thing about salads, are their simplicity. Most are not labor-intensive, but are packed with flavor. This chicken fajita salad has a lot of bite to it and will definitely be worth making for dinner!
With the addition of the local produce, I added some homemade tortilla strips, pico de gallo, sharp cheddar cheese, and for the dressing, a spicy buttermilk-chipotle drizzle. The homemade tortilla chips are white corn tortillas sliced into strips and cooked in the oven. Regular store-bought tortilla chips, crushed, will work fine as well.
- 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast
- 1 head green lettuce, chopped
- 1 red pepper, de-seeded, and sliced
- 1 white onion, halved and sliced
- 1 avocado, halved, pitted and sliced
- 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 cup tortilla strips *can substitute with store-bought tortilla chips
- 1/2 cup pico de gallo *either store bought or homemade (ingredients below in directions)
- 2 tbsp taco seasoning
- 1 chipotle pepper and sauce from can of chipotle peppers, minced
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- salt + pepper
Pre heat oven to 400
Make tortilla strips ahead of time by slicing white corn tortillas and placing them on a greased baking sheet to cook for 8-10 minutes. Let cool.
Rub taco seasoning on front and back of chicken breasts. In a cast iron skillet, drizzle a little oil and add chicken, red pepper and onion. Cook on the stove top for 2-3 minutes to sear the chicken and veggies. Place in the oven and cook for 25 minutes, or until chicken is no longer pink.
While the peppers, onion, and chicken are cooking, make your pico de gallo by dicing one roma tomato, 1/4 white onion, and a 1/4 cup fresh cilantro. Add to a bowl and mix with 1 lime, juiced, and a little salt and pepper.
Then, make your buttermilk-chipotle dressing, by mincing your chipotle pepper and adding that to a bowl with sauce, mayonnaise, and buttermilk. Whisk until smooth. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Shred your sharp cheddar cheese, and set aside.
Remove chicken from oven and let it sit for 2-3 minutes, then slice.
Assemble salad with lettuce, top with peppers, onion, cheese, sliced avocado, pico de gallo, and finally tortilla strips. Drizzle with dressing.