Fresco salad is a Mexican style salad made with spring mix, Queso fresco(Mexican cheese), and with homemade mustard vinaigrette. The spring mix and the hot mustard vinaigrette compliments each other which makes the salad delicious.
This Fresco Salad is very addictive that you could not keep your salad bowl down once tasting it. Hence, I thought this salad would be best to share this season.
This salad is a little treat to yourself when you have a long tiring day. Every scoop of this salad energizes the body and satisfies your taste buds.
Very easy to make this summer salad, the vinaigrette is the only thing needed to be prepared. Furthermore this vinaigrette can be made well in advance. So, you don't need to stress much for the preparation
Fresco salad is a colorful and power pack dish that could be loved by all. And a perfect dish to pair grilled meat or barbecues. Also, easy to make for potlucks or lazy weeknight dinners.
With little effort, you can impress the whole family with fresco salad with tasty mustard vinaigrette.
Now the fall is nearing and we slowly shutting down the outdoor cooking. Till now we are getting a good quality of crispy spring mixes. So it is wiser to try out all the favorite recipes before the season goes off.
Guessing that you will also be loving this recipe and making before the season ends.
I have my own list of favorite salads from my favorite restaurants. I try to repeat eating the same if it fulfills my all criteria.
In my view, a good salad should have a few basic properties. Firstly, it has to be simple and not loaded with calories. Secondly, it has to be healthy nutrient-rich. Finally, the ingredients should retain their own unique flavors.
Fresco salad from Chili's restaurant is one of my favorites. Whenever I have this salad there, for a long time I always keep planning to make my own by customizing.
But when I tried it for at home for the first time, I regretted that I should have made it earlier. Because it is so much easy and a lot quicker to make. Most importantly it was liked by my entire home.
So without any doubt, I’m going to make this often, as it is healthy as well.
Importantly I want to disclose this Fresco salad is not a Chili's restaurant 's copycat recipe but a similar one with bold flavors.
The salad I made today to pair my grilled salmon. So I decided to choose Dijon mustard vinaigrette as it would be great to pair with the seafood.
This is one of my tasty trials when following my low carb diet.
The vinaigrette is so easy to make that you can make a well in advance and store it for two days. Store in its airtight container for best results.
How long Fresco salad can last?
This salad is best to serve immediately as soon as it is made. Since the main ingredient spring mix can become soggy after a while.
The spring mix greens are tender and soft. So it cannot hold the vinaigrette for a longer time. Hence serve immediately as soon as you made.
And this salad is not advisable to store the leftover. So decide the quantity before you make it. I will not say this as a disadvantage as this recipe is so simple, that you can even make it over the dinner table.
What is Queso fresco?
This is a Mexican style fresh cheese. It is a creamy and mild cheese made with milk and the lemon mixture. This process of making is similar to the cottage cheese of India(Paneer). Where both have all the goodness of milk nutrients.
What is Fresco salad?
The garden-fresh spring mix salad usually made with Qesco fresco cheese. A great side dish that is low calorie and low carb. It is made with spring mix and fresh veggies like chopped cucumbers, carrots, or other vegetables.
The key ingredients of Fresco salad
Spring mix: I usually go with Costco's big bag of spring mixes which is crispy and great in taste. The spring mixes by itself look great with the multiple colors and different layers. And this is the most important and main Ingredient so make sure it is fresh and crisp.
Queso Fresco cheese: This is another important ingredient. It is available in most of the groceries like Walmart. But you can make your own if it is not available near you.
To make the Queso Fresco, bring milk to boil and add two tablespoons of lemon juice. Now the milk starts cuddles. Then strain it and this cuddled milk crumble is the cheese that you need to make the salad.
Mustard vinaigrette: Most of the ingredients for this vinaigrette are easily available in most of our pantry. To make this fiery vinaigrette, you need is minced garlic, minced cilantro leaves, Dijon mustard sauce, lime juice, and salt.
The combination of these three ingredients is lovely and could make a wonderful winning dish, that is great for any Grilled seafood.
This Fresco salad can also be made with fresh cucumbers, carrots, tomatoes. The choice of vegetables is up to you to decide. But today I'm just making something similar to what I had in the Chili's restaurant.
Why Dijon lemon vinaigrette for this salad?
Dijon mustard vinaigrette has perfectly pairs for the grilled food. The strong flavors of Dijon mustard sauce will turn amazingly when added olive oil and lemon juice.
This combination of flavors would be a great companion for any grilled dishes. You may add honey to make this fresco salad mildly sweet.
Variations for Fresco salad:
- You may add garden-fresh vegetables like diced carrots cook burgers tomato onion.
- Add garlic powder instead of minced garlic.
- I would suggest you add fresh garlic as this would give you a wholesome bold flavor of the garlic. But it can be substituted with garlic powder. This is a great option to make the preparation easier or if you're running out of time.
- You may also add a tablespoon of ranch or mayo to make a creamy mustard vinaigrette.
Other garden fresh salads like,
For the mustard vinaigrette
- 1 tbsp garlic minced
- 1 tbsp jalapeno minced
- 1 tbsp cilantro minced
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- 2 tbsp dijon mustard
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 4 tbsp lime juice
- 1/4 tsp salt or as required
For the salad
- 3 cups spring mix greens
- 2 tbsp queso fresco
For the mustard vinaigrette
- In a small mixing bowl add minced garlic, minced jalapeno, minced cilantro, cumin powder, salt, dijon mustard, olive oil, lime juice, and salt.
- Whisk until it turns into a smooth consistency. Keep aside.
For the salad
- In a mixing bowl, add spring mix greens, the mustard vinaigrette.
- Toss gently until the vinaigrette coats evenly.
- Sprinkle queso fresco and serve immediately.