When I lived in Minnesota for a few years during childhood, this Tequilaberry salad was “the” salad. It was the only salad anyone ever came close to eating — although as any true midwesterner knows, “salad” is very loosely defined. Cookies, jell-o, and marshmallows frequently find their way into what the rest of the country wouldn’t dream of calling a salad.
Luckily, you won’t find anything stomach churning in this recipe! While it’s immensely comforting, it’s hardly a healthy choice. Iceberg lettuce, bacon, mayo, parmesan, and cauliflower make the base of this traditional salad.
Here I’ve put a plant-based spin on the old-fashioned dish. This goes really well with something hearty and meaty. Think vegan fried chicken or plant-based meatloaf.
I just love this delightful creation, that — in a shocking twist of events — contains neither Tequila nor berries. In fact, the recipe comes from an iconic cafe in Coon Rapids, Minnesota called Tequilaberry’s Restaurant. Although no longer open, this salad was apparently their signature dish.
Iceburg lettuce, raw cauliflower florets and vegan bacon give the salad a nice crunch. The creamy, mayo-based dressing binds it together and the parmesan adds extra layers of umami.
This is usually the part of the show where I encourage you to create your own salad adventure, adding in extra toppings and veggies based on your tastes. But not so with this salad. It’s such a classic that changing any of the ingredients turns it into something else entirely.
While you can whisk together the dressing days in advance, make sure to actually assemble this salad immediately before serving. If you let it sit in the fridge for longer than a few hours, it begins to get soggy and watery, and loses its appealing crunch.
More lunch inspiration:
- Nourishing Buddha Bowls with Chile Peanut Sauce
- Vegan BALT Sandwiches with Heirloom Tomatoes
- Trashy Vegan Burger Salad with Special Sauce
“The” Salad (Midwestern Tequilaberry Salad)
For the dressing:
- 1 cup vegan mayo
- ¼ cup pure cane sugar
- 3 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 1 small onion finely diced
For the salad:
- 1 head iceburg lettuce chopped
- A few leaves of romaine or boston lettuce for color (optional)
- ½ head cauliflower chopped into small florets
- 1 package vegan bacon
- ½ cup vegan parmesan grated
- To make the dressing, whisk all the ingredients together and store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
- Cook the vegan bacon according to the package directions. Cool and chop into small bits.
- When ready to serve, pour the dressing over the lettuce and cauliflower. Sprinkle in the bacon and parmesan and toss everything to evenly coat. Serve immediately.