We could all use a little more Mexico in our lives. Its bold colors, warm hospitality, and lilting breezes, and the food — let us 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 — the Los Cabos Mexican Summer Salad recipe has 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.
Modern Taco Salad Recipe
For The Dressing:
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup firm-ripe avocado diced
- 1/4 cup cilantro leaves
- 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice plus wedges for corn
- 1 tablespoon pepitas toasted plus more for garnish
- 1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
- Pinch unrefined cane sugar
For The Salad:
- 2 poblano chiles
- 2 ears corn shucked
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin optional
- 8 ounces grape or cherry tomatoes halved
- 1 cup crumbled Feta cheese about 4 ounces
- Handful of crushed tortilla chips optional
- 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.
- For The Salad: Roast poblanos over an 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 small dice.
- 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.