{Tex-Mex Salad with Creamy Lime Dressing}

I love salads! They make me think of summer and warmth, and being in Minnesota right now I am craving warmth! I tried this salad for the first time last summer when my sister in law made it for a family party. It was so yummy and fresh, with such unique flavors. LOVED IT! This recipe is from Sunny Anderson on the Food Network.

Butter, for preparing 8 by 8-inch glass pan
1 (8.5-ounce) box cornbread mix (recommended: Jiffy)
1 large egg
1/3 cup milk
1 (15.5-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 packet sazon seasoning
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup salsa
2 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 head romaine lettuce, cut into strips
Creamy Lime Dressing, recipe follows
1 1/2 cups grated Monterey jack cheese
1 1/2 cups grated Cheddar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease an 8 by 8-inch glass pan with butter. Stir together the cornbread mix with the egg and milk. Evenly spread into prepared pan and bake on the middle rack for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and cool in pan for 10 minutes. Remove from pan to cool completely. Mix together the beans with the sazon and season with salt and pepper. Toss the salsa with the tomatoes. When ready to serve, cut the cornbread into 1/2-inch croutons. Toss the lettuce with 3/4 cups of the dressing. In a clear trifle dish, layer the Tex-Mex Salad beginning with the black beans followed by the Monterey jack cheese, the tomato salsa mixture, the Cheddar, the dressed romaine and top with the cornbread croutons. Serve the remaining dressing on the side.

Creamy Lime Dressing:
2 tablespoons freshly chopped cilantro leaves
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon lime zest
1/4 cup lime juice
1/2 cup sour cream
1 clove garlic, smashed
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Blend all the ingredients except the olive oil until smooth. While machine is running, slowly drizzle in the oil until incorporated. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.

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