We could all use a little more Mexico in our lives. Its bold colors, warm hospitality, and lilting breezes, and the food — let’s not forget about the comforting complexity that is Mexican food. But I hadn’t been to Mexico in almost a decade, which is kind of a joke seeing as I live in a state that shares a border with that very country.
So, I took a vacation. I mean, a real vacation with my family down in Los Cabos, Mexico. Though I’d like to say I ate healthy and worked out all the time, I more or less acted like a sloth and zoned out (leaving a trail of tortilla chips and margaritas wherever I went). But if I were being healthy? I would have eaten something like this salad — all the flavors of Mexico toasted and roasted and tossed together but a far cry from a chain-restaurant tostada. So, though I couldn’t bring you all souvenirs, I thought I’d share this recipe from me, to you, with an air of Mexico.
1/4 cup diced for dressing and remaining for garnishing salad
plus wedges for corn
toasted plus more for garnish (optional)
about 4 ounces
For the dressing: Combine 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, the 1/4 cup diced avocado, cilantro, 3 tablespoons of the lime juice, 1 tablespoon pepitas, vinegar, sugar, and salt with 3 tablespoons water in a blender and process until smooth, at least 30 seconds. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper.
Chill until ready to use - dressing can be made up to 4 hours ahead of time though you may need to add more water to adjust consistency.
For the salad: Roast poblanos over and open flame until thoroughly blackened, about 8 minutes. Place poblanos in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap to steam, about 10 minutes. Run chile under cold water and rub off the blackened skin. Trim off ends, discard seeds, and cut into a small dice.
Poblano can be roasted up to 1 day ahead.
Meanwhile, heat the remaining olive oil in a medium frying pan over high heat. Using a serrated knife, saw the kernels off the corn and place in the frying pan with a pinch of salt and the cumin. Cook, stirring rarely, until corn is browned and toasted. Remove from heat, stir in a squeeze of lime, and set aside to cool.
In a large bowl, toss the greens with the corn, poblanos, red onion, and tomatoes. Then top the salad with the feta, avocado, and pepitas, drizzle with a spoonful of the dressing and serve with additional dressing passed on the side.
Food styling and photography by Aida Mollenkamp