Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Taco Salad

Been a while since there's been a salad around here! This one was a big hit and should be do-able all summer. The tomatoes are greenhouse ones at this stage of the season, but soon there will better ones from the garden.

This is really a meal-in-itself salad, although you could serve it as a side salad, I suppose. In that case I might control access to the corn chips, and sprinkle some crushed ones in with the salad instead of passing them to keep them down to a dull roar. And you didn't hear it from me, but if you don't have pepitas (pumpkin seeds) or sunflower seeds, those nasty little fake bacon bits work quite well in their place. Ahem.

Also, don't I usually have a bean salad in the spring? I guess this one is this years, albeit a bit late and a little skimpy on the beans. You can certainly add more if  you want.

4 servings
20 minutes prep time, not including cooking the beans

Make the Dressing:
1 green onion
1 clove of garlic
2 to 4 slices of pickled JalapeƱo pepper
1 teaspoon sweet Hungarian paprika
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds, ground
1 tablespoon tomato ketchup or sauce
3 tablespoons mild vegetable oil
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

Clean and slice the green onion. Peel and slice the garlic. Put them, with the remaining ingredients, into a blender and blend until very smooth. Scrape out into your serving dish.

This can be done up to a day ahead, and some time for the flavours to blend is not a bad idea.

Make the Salad:
8 cups loosely packed lettuce or mixed salad greens
1 cup cooked, drained beans
1 cup grated old Cheddar cheese
1 medium tomato
1 ripe medium avocado
2 to 4 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
1/4 cup salted roasted pepitas or sunflower seeds
corn chips ad lib

Clean and chop the lettuce; wash it well and dry it thoroughly. Arrange it in a salad bowl or individual serving bowls. Spread the beans and the grated cheese evenly over it.

Chop the tomato and avocado fairly finely, and sprinkle them over the salad, along with the cilantro.

Serve; pass the dressing and also a bowl of corn chips. Some people just eat chips with the salad; some will crumble them in; some will pile the salad on the chips like a lettucey dip. You could put the salad in actual taco shells, I suppose, but at that point you might as well cook some ground beef and have tacos.

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