I've always loved Mexican-style salad with sherry vinaigrette, cotija cheese, pepitas, red onion and avocado - but if there's something I could change about it, I would. First, the taste of raw red onion can be pretty biting, unless they're rinsed and dried to mellow - which is a bit too much work. Second, the avocado is parsed so you only get a bite here and there, a shame for the avocado lover. And when it comes down to it, I'm always striving for the perfect bite, where everything you intended to be on that plate is eaten in unison. Thus, the updated version of this salad.
I'd suggest using a mini food processor or blender, as my larger food processor was too large for the job. You could easily make this by hand as well, without equipment beyond a bowl and a whisk.
Creamy Avocado Dressing
1 head Romaine letuce
1 small shallot, sliced thin
1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons sherry vinegar (you can sub white wine vinegar if you choose)
1 heaping tablespoon creme fraiche or plain yogurt
1 dash Worcestershire sauce
4 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon good olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
Rinse, dry and tear the romaine leaves. Set aside in a large bowl.
In a small bowl, macerate the shallot, the vinegar and a pinch of salt for about 10 minutes. This will mellow out both the shallot and vinegar somewhat.
In the bowl of a blender, add the avocado, creme fraiche and Worcestershire sauce and whirl until broken down and smoother. Through the feed tube while the machine is running, add the vinegar and shallots. Continue pureeing, adding the olive oil, also through the feed tube.
Spoon into a small bowl and add salt and pepper to taste. This dressing will be on the thicker side, but it shouldn't be anywhere near the consistency of a chunky guacamole. Once it's lightly dressed on greens, it will be thin and elegant.
Toss dressing with romaine hearts or mache, thinly-sliced radish and sprinkle with cotija cheese and toasted pumpkin seeds.