Delightful Date, Chèvre & Avocado Salad with Crunchy Cornbread Croutons

This combination of sweet chewy dates, creamy goat cheese, avocados, a fresh mix of crunchy vegetables, almonds and cornbread croutons is incredible!  Here is my own take on one of my favorite restaurant salads!  Bandera’s in Newport Beach knows how to create an incredible Macho Salad topped with their in-house rotisserie chicken. Since having my first taste 10 years ago I have created my own variation on this over time. Here is my favorite. It is great with chicken or without. Serves 4 dinner plate size portions.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • 4 cups lettuce variety of your choice torn into piece
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes cut in halves
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen(thawed) corn
  • 1 avocado cut into chunks
  • 3-4 oz. chèvre soft goat cheese crumbled
  • 12 dates diced
  • 1/2 cup slivered or sliced almonds toasted
  • 1 or more cups prepared cornbread cut into 3/4″ chunks
  • 1.5 cups cooked chicken pieces (optional)

Dressing (double this recipe to have more dressing) :

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 lemon juiced
  • 2 Tbs apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1-2 cloves garlic crushed
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • black pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Prepare cornbread croutons: Preheat oven to 450′ and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil.
  2. Drizzle about 2 Tbs olive oil or melted butter on cornbread chunks
  3. Spread evenly in single layer on baking sheet.
  4. Bake for about 8-10 minutes or until slightly browned. Toss once if needed. let cook for a few minutes.
  5. Meanwhile prepare dressing: Mix dressing ingredients in a dish and stir well. Alternatively add to a lidded jar and shake to combine.
  6. For salad: add all ingredients except dressing and croutons in a large bowl.  When dressing and croutons are done toss with salad.
  7. You can also layer ingredients on individual plates, then add croutons and drizzle with dressing.