Cilantro Cotija Salad Dressing

by Rachel on September 23, 2012

Cilantro Cotija Salad Dressing

This dressing is somewhere in between a pesto and a salad dressing. It works well over pasta. Use it at room temperature. Cook your pasta to desired doneness and toss it with this pesto dressing. You could add sliced tomatoes, or lightly cooked zucchini, or broccoli. Shrimp would be good too. Mexican pumpkin seeds are a dark green color and are sometimes referred to as Pepitas. I’ve seen them sold in both raw and roasted forms. I buy the raw ones and roast them myself. Just heat your oven to 350, toss the pumpkin seeds on a cookie tray or sheet pan and cook them for 7-10 minutes until they are slightly golden and crunchy.

Cilantro Cotija Salad Dressing (makes 1 ½ cups dressing)

  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 1/3 cup roasted and Mexican pumpkin seeds (also known as Pepitas)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon finely ground white or black pepper
  • juice of two limes
  • ¼ cup Cotija cheese, crumbled
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 bunch cilantro, washed, last inch of stems removed and discarded

Put everything except the cilantro in a blender. Process a few times. Add the cilantro and blend until smooth.

This will make enough dressing for 2-3 salads, depending on how heavily dressed you like your salad. Or, it will be enough to cover a pound of pasta. The dressing will keep in the fridge for a full week. In the recipe photographed here I added 2 cups of fresh corn, 2 cups of grape tomatoes cut in half, and 2 lbs of cooked baby shrimp to 1 pound of pasta. The pesto was the right amount for that size pasta salad.

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