Once upon a time, there was a restaurant named Tequilaberry's in Coon Rapids, MN that served a salad so incredibly delicious it became famous throughout the Midwest. Although Tequilaberry's Restaurant has since closed its doors, the recipe for their popular salad is still requested by many.
The Tequilaberry salad is an incredibly creamy salad brimming with lettuce, cauliflower, Parmesan cheese, and crisp bits of bacon. Yes, that's correct, there is no tequila in Tequilaberry salad. But it is wonderfully sweet, smoky, and has just a touch of tanginess. One bite and you will see why it was so popular.
What is in it?
There are many variations of the original recipe floating around online. Most of them tend to agree on the main ingredients. However, there are some variations on the more minor flavorings. These are the main components of the salad.
- Lettuce - One head of iceberg lettuce or a 1 pound bag of chopped lettuce will work. If using a whole head, cut lettuce into bite-sized pieces.
- Cauliflower - An average head of cauliflower should be around one and a half pounds.
- Bacon - Use one pound of bacon and only use real bacon, not bacon bits. Make sure you save some of the bacon grease to mix in with the dressing.
- Mayo - People swear that you can only use Hellmann's Mayonnaise.
- Apple Cider Vinegar - This seems to be debated. Some recipes call for white vinegar, others use buttermilk, some don't use add any adicity at all. However, one source, who claimed to be friends with a former employee of the restaurant swears apple cider vinegar is used.
- Sugar - Yes, this recipe uses a lot of sugar, a quarter cup sugar to be exact. Feel free to cut back to fit your tastes.
- Parmesan cheese - Shredded is best, but you can use grated if needed.
If you have ever eaten at the old Tequilaberry's I would love to hear your thoughts on the ingredients.
How to make it
Tequilaberry's salad is incredibly easy to make. Grab yourself a large bowl and chop lettuce, cauliflower, and bacon. Add these to the bowl, along with the dressing, and Parmesan cheese. Mix well and serve. It is that easy!
How to make the dressing
The dressing is made by combining the mayo, sugar, bacon grease, and vinegar to a bowl and mixing to combine well. The vinegar will thin out the dressing a bit, but the bacon grease will thicken it back up while also imparting its glorious flavor.
The dressing can be made when serving the salad. As a matter of fact, It was often prepared tableside at the restaurant. However, the flavor will improve if you make the dressing in advance. You can either prepare it earlier that afternoon and let it chill in the refrigerator, or make it the day prior to allow the flavors more time to meld.
Note: It is important to note the dressing should NOT be mixed with the salad in advance or you will turn the lettuce and bacon mushy.
Ways to customize this salad
Every good recipe can serve as a starting point to transform it into your own special creation. Tequilaberry Salad is no different. This is a pretty basic salad that can be customized many different ways. Try any of these additions:
- Slivered almonds
- Broccoli florets
- Red wine vinegar (instead of apple cider)
More Creamy Salads
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- 1 head iceberg lettuce chopped
- 1 head cauliflower chopped
- 1 pound bacon cooked and crumbled
- ⅔ cups shredded parmesan cheese
- 1 cup mayo
- 1 tablespoon bacon grease
- ¼ cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- Combine one head lettuce, one head cauliflower, bacon, and Parmesan cheese in a large bowl.
- To prepare the dressing, mix mayonnaise, bacon grease, sugar, and vinegar in a separate dish.
- Add dressing to the salad bowl prior to serving, mixing everything well to combine.