I think of a recipe as something that requires measurements and specific amounts of this and that, but since this sandwich is absolved from all of that fussiness, I guess you would actually call it a non-recipe. I list below about how much of each component I use for reference but the beauty of this non-recipe is that you can use as much of each ingredient that you think looks good.
The idea for this salad came from dinner that I recently had at my sister’s house. I had traveled down with the kids for our first overnight at their new house (which is an old schoolhouse, how cool is that?!) and she made delicious Mexican rice bowls for dinner. It was perfect because she knew how much I love Mexican flavors and my husband who may or may not have a cumin allergy (long story), was not with us, so we had ourselves a little fiesta! There was seasoned rice and black beans, guacamole, fresh salsa, and pickled cabbage and you just piled whatever you wanted in your bowl, which of course, was everything. I had a bowl and a half and I had to force myself to stay in my seat and not allow myself to go back for a third helping.
This dressing/sauce began with my total failure to concoct something that would adequately replace the Costco-sized bottle of ranch dressing that has been a mainstay in our refrigerator since Bert started eating solid foods. The child puts ranch dressing on everything. Italian hoagie? Yes. Any kind of vegetable, raw or cooked? Yes. Pizza? Yes. All types of meat? Yes. Sometimes he even puts it on his hot dogs! Must I go on? Suffice it to say, the idea that Bert would eat just about anything without first dipping it in a white puddle of Hidden Valley is completely unrealistic.