Chopped Salad w/ Garlic-Mexican Crema Dressing

When coming up with this month's theme for The Food of the Month Club, I started to think about the salads I grew up eating.  I was one of those weird little kids who loved her veggies, with the exception of onions, and I especially loved salads.  When I went to live with my parents in Amarillo, I remember taking regular walks to the fast food restaurant that was down the street, to order a small salad instead of the burger & fries kid's meal that most 8 year olds would have ordered.

Once I was back in California with my grandparents, I still loved salads.  Gramm would occasionally make egg or potato salad, but those were reserved mostly for church functions or potlucks.  But the salad I remember the most was Gramm's BLT salad, which consisted of bacon, iceberg lettuce, and chopped tomato mixed together with mayonnaise.  It was my absolute favorite.

Years later, when Pappy retired and took over most of the cooking, he'd start out making Gramm's BLT salad, but would then add an ingredient here or there, like red onion and golden corn kernels, because according to him, "algo le faltaba."  (Something was missing.)  But it still wasn't quite what he wanted.  After a couple more tries, and the addition of avocado and ham, Pappy was pleased enough that he said, "Ya no le falta nada!" (It's not missing a thing!)

Now that I'm all grown up with kiddies of my own, I still make Pappy's salad, with the same ingredients.  The only thing I've changed is the dressing.  There's still mayonnaise in the mix, but I've also added Mexican crema, garlic, and lots of black pepper.   The dressing alone is so good, every time I make it, I have to resist the urge to drink it.

What salads did you grow up eating?

Chopped Salad w/ Garlic Mexican Crema Dressing -

Chopped Salad w/ Garlic-Mexican Crema Dressing


  • 6 slices bacon
  • 1/2 cup Mexican crema
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon ground black pepper (depending on how much you like pepper)
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons milk
  • 6 cups chopped lettuce (iceberg or romaine), rinsed and dried
  • 2 roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 medium red onion, chopped
  • 1 small can yellow corn kernels, drained
  • 4 slices ham, chopped
  • 1 avocado, peeled and chopped

In a medium non-stick skillet, cook the bacon until crisp and fully cooked.  Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain off excess bacon fat; set aside

For the salad dressing: Whisk together the Mexican crema, mayonnaise, minced garlic, salt, and ground black pepper in a small bowl.  Stir in milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, until desired consistency.   

In a large bowl or serving platter, layer the lettuce, tomato, onion, corn kernels, ham, avocado, and bacon.

Drizzle the Garlic-Mexican Crema dressing on top.  You can serve the salad as is, or lightly toss it all together until every piece of lettuce is coated with dressing. 


Mexican Chopped Salad w/ Homemade Dressing -



  1. Oh my gosh - this looks amazing! I want it right now.

  2. Paula @ Vintage KitchenFebruary 8, 2013 at 8:14 AM

    Tiene algo de distinto a la crema común la mexican? Empecé a ver esa palabra en muchos blogs en inglés como si fuera algo novedoso. Hasta usada para hablar de una mezcla de queso crema. Al margen de eso, esta ensalada me encanta! Un poco de todo y perfecta para el verano!

  3. I think I will be making this for my husband soon.