I love taco salad. I still remember the first time I ate it at my aunt's house. I couldn't believe the flavor explosions happening in my mouth. I think I was 12 and my life was changed forever. My aunt's salad was made with ground beef sauteed with taco seasoning mix and tossed with Wishbone Italian dressing...which I still love to this day.
Over the years, I must have made a hundred variations on the theme. In my opinion, to make a really great taco salad all you need is a protein, some cheese, some beans, lettuce, dressing, and corn chips. Everything else is embellishment. I like embellishment in the form of olives, chopped onions and tomatoes, diced avocado, a scattering of fresh cilantro leaves, and maybe some sliced jalapeños.
For this week's salad, the protein was garlic roasted turkey, the cheese was Spanish manchego, the beans were white beans, the lettuce was romaine, and the dressing was homemade ranch (much prefer the mix-it-yourself packets to the bottle) mixed with salsa (about 3 parts dressing to one part salsa). I also added chopped green onions and cilantro. I know I'll be making this one again.