The homemade croutons may have been the best part of the Southwest Caesar salad- crunchy, spicy, so good. These croutons could be used in other salads too, maybe next time I'll make a double batch. That way, I can have croutons available for workweek lunch salads without resorting to eating junky processed croutons out of a bag.
The only downfall was that it took awhile to prep all the individual salad components, but this could just be a perception issue on my part. When I see that I have salad on the dinner menu, I think, "Oh, salad, no cooking involved!" But then I end up making these fancy dinner salads that have a ton of layers and flavors. The extra time makes for some really delicious salads, but it's more like a 30 minute assembly rather than the 10 minutes I'm always expecting. Here are a few of my other favorite fancy lettuce-based salad recipes:
Fake Out Tuna Nicoise Salad
Beet, Feta & Tofu Salad
Global House Salad