Monday, May 19, 2008

Chopped Mexican Salad with Orange-Lime Cumin Vinaigrette

What is more refreshing on a hot humid day than salad?
A chopped salad. Perhaps it is the uniform cubes or the ability to get a bite of everything in one mouthful that makes chopped salads pretty high up on the salad hierarchy. This salad is composed of vivid summer colors exemplifying the bounty of summer produce, like tomatoes, peppers and corn. The orange lime cumin vinaigrette gives this salad the acidity it needs while making it taste refreshing and summery. This salad really shines with the roasted peppers and corn. The corn has a nice complex sweet flavor and the peppers freshly roasted are intensely sweet. Make sure to toast your cumin until fragrant for a deeper flavor.

I got this recipe from Fine Cooking: FRESH (yes, it lives up to its name)

I used chicken instead of jicama to make this salad suitable for a meal. I use chicken breast seasoned with salt, paprika, chili powder and a little cumin and then sautéed and don’t forget, chopped.

Roasted Veggies:
2 large peppers (red or orange)
2 ears of corn
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and black pepper

Orange-Lime Cumin Vinaigrette
1 small clove garlic
Kosher salt
3 Tbs. fresh lime juice
3 Tbs. fresh orange juice
2 tsp. chopped shallot
¾ tsp. cumin seeds toasted and ground
¼ cup good olive oil
freshly ground pepper

2 large firm tomatoes, cored, seeded and cut into ¼ inch dice
1 small jicama, peeled and cut into ¼ inch dice
2 large firm avocados, peeled cut into ¼ inch dice
1 15oz. can black beans drained and rinsed
¼ cup coarsely chopped cilantro
Roast Peppers and Corn:
Position rack in the center of oven and set to 425. Place husked and cleaned corn and peppers (cut into half and seeded) onto foil wrapped baking sheet. Drizzle olive oil to coat. (Rub olive oil on the corns) and sprinkle with salt. Then roast for about 20 minutes until kernels are lightly browned and peppers are soft.
After removing and cooling, scrape the pepper skin and chop into ½ inch dice. Remove corn kernels from the cob.
Make the Vinaigrette:
Mince and mash clove of garlic with ¼ tsp. salt. In a medium bowl whisk the garlic paste, lime, orange juice, shallot, honey and toasted cumin. Slowly add the oil while whisking (EMULSION!!!!) Season with pepper to taste.
Assemble the salad: Use a big serving platter and cluster each chopped ingredient into a little pile next to each other. Look at the picture. Sprinkle with cilantro. Then drizzle the vinaigrette all over.

So yummy and refreshing! Even the non-salad eaters will chomp on this one (trust me!) I served it with my favorite tortilla chips and called it a meal.

No comments: