I’ve made this salad three times in the last two days. And I’ll probably make it again tomorrow! I LOVE THIS SALAD!!! Actually, it’s the dressing that I’m mad about. In fact, I’m totally not ashamed to tell you that each time, after I finished every last bite of salad, I licked the plate clean.
The flavors in the dressing are clean and crisp and sweet and hot, all at the same time. The recipe is from a May 2010 issue of Cooking Light magazine, with the original list of ingredients including shrimp, sour cream, and baked store-bought chips. Shrimp doesn’t do it for me, I don’t eat dairy, and it’s so easy to make homemade tortilla chips that I couldn’t bear to pay for store-bought ones. Plus, the whole cross contamination thing skeeves me out. Oh yeah, and I didn’t have chipotle hot sauce, but I picked up a tiny jar of Melinda’s Original Fire Roasted Habanero Pepper Sauce at TJ Maxx (check them out for GREAT gourmet foodstuffs), and that did the trick. The recipe called for grilling the corn which would’ve been fab, but instead, I boiled and shucked it.
I made a few adaptations to the original recipe. The first time I made it, I was down the cape (that’s the New England way of saying “I went to Cape Cod.”). My sister-in-law invited us over for a 4th of July picnic. She is the most gracious of hosts, but I don’t eat BBQ Pork Tenderloin. Thankfully, she didn’t mind that I brown-bagged it. Instead of shrimp, I crumbled up a veggie burger in the first incarnation of my salad (can’t remember who makes them, but I got them in the produce section of the supermarket, and they are gluten free.) The second time and third time I made it, I skipped the veggie burgers and just topped the salad with black beans. Totally fine, totally delicious, totally filling.
Southwestern-Style Bean & Avocado Salad
1 large serving
2 tbsp fresh lime juice
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp maple syrup
1 tsp chipotle hot sauce (this is what I used)
1/2 cup chopped romaine lettuce
1/2 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed (or crumbled veggie burger)
1 ear corn, boiled, shucked, and chilled
1/4 cup chopped scallions
2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
Handful grape tomatoes
2 tbsp chopped avocado
Handful baked tortilla chips (recipe explained below)
Combine lime juice, olive oil, cumin, garlic, maple syrup and hot sauce in a small bowl. Stir with a whisik.
In a medium bowl, combine salad ingredients. Add desired amount of dressing and toss.
Serve with baked tortilla chips.
Homemade Baked Tortilla Chips
1 package corn tortillas (make sure they’re gluten free)
Lightly brush one corn tortilla with oil and then sprinkle with sea salt. Repeat with remaining tortillas, stacking them as you finish brushing each one. If you want really symmetrical tortilla chips, cut the pile of oiled tortillas (first in half, then in half again etc., until you have triangle shaped chips). Place brushed tortilla pieces in a jelly roll pan. Bake 350 degrees for about 20 minutes. Check periodically for desired crispness.
Optionally, instead of cutting wedges out of the tortilla stack, you can lay each brushed tortilla on the baking sheet and bake as above. When they’re done to your liking, you can break the tortillas into smaller pieces.