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Chopped Mexican Salad with Roasted Peppers, Corn, Tomatoes & Avocado

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Serves eight.

  • To learn more, read:
    Chopped Salads
  • by John Ash from Fine Cooking
    Issue 79

Chopped salads are a beautiful way to show of summer's terrific produce. Each ingredient is interesting to eat and taste, and together they combine to give you something even better.

For the peppers and corn:
  • 2 large orange or red bell peppers
  • 2 ears fresh corn
  • 1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the honey-lime-cumin vinaigrette:
  • 1 small clove garlic
  • Kosher salt
  • 3 Tbs. fresh lime juice
  • 3 Tbs. fresh orange juice
  • 2 tsp. finely chopped shallot
  • 1 Tbs. honey; more to taste
  • 3/4 tsp. cumin seeds, toasted and finely ground
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper
To assemble:
  • 2 large firm-ripe tomatoes, cored, seeded, and cut into 1/4-inch dice (about 1-3/4 cup)
  • 1 small jícama, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice (2 cups)
  • 2 large firm-ripe avocados, peeled, pitted, and cut into 1/4-inch dice (about 2-1/2 cups)
  • 1 15-oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed (or 1-1/2 cups home-cooked black beans)
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
Roast the peppers and corn:

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 425ºF. Line a heavy-duty rimmed baking sheet with foil. Cut the peppers in half lengthwise and remove the stem, seed core, and ribs. Put the pepper halves on the baking sheet cut side down. Husk the corn and put the ears on the baking sheet. Drizzle the oil over the peppers and corn and rub it around to coat the pepper skins and corn kernels evenly. Sprinkle the corn with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven until the peppers are soft and slightly shriveled and browned and the corn kernels are lightly browned in a few spots, about 20 min. (rotate the corn occasionally as it roasts).

When the vegetables are done, let them rest until cool enough to handle. Scrape away the pepper skin and cut the flesh into 1/2-inch dice. Cut the corn kernels from the cob. You should have about 1-1/2 cups kernels.

Make the vinaigrette:

Mince and mash the garlic to a paste with 1/4 tsp. kosher salt. In a medium bowl, whisk the garlic paste with the lime and orange juices, shallot, honey, and toasted ground cumin. Slowly add the oil in a thin stream, whisking until well blended. Season to taste with black pepper and more salt and honey, if you like.

Assemble the salad:

Artfully arrange the corn, tomatoes, peppers, jícama, avocado, and black beans in stripes or piles on a small platter or other wide, shallow serving dish. Sprinkle with the chopped cilantro. Serve the vinaigrette in a pitcher. Encourage guests to spoon elements of the salad onto their plates and drizzle on some of the vinaigrette. Or drizzle the vinaigrette over the salad platter just before serving.

Make Ahead Tips

Chop all the salad ingredients up to four hours ahead and store them covered in the fridge.

nutrition information (per serving):
Size : based on eight servings; Calories (kcal): 270; Fat (g): 16; Fat Calories (kcal): 150; Saturated Fat (g): 2.5; Protein (g): 5; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 11; Carbohydrates (g): 28; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 2; Sodium (mg): 250; Cholesterol (mg): 0; Fiber (g): 10;

Photo: Scott Phillips

Superb. Especially the dressing. Found the jicama too bland and hard so substituted cucumber. Cilantro is what makes the dish special.

I absolutely love this recipe! I have made it it least seven times in the last two years. For the left overs the next day, buy some tortillas add some of the leftover salad, cheese and you have yourself another delicious meal!

We love this salad, one of our faves. Its pretty fast once you memorize it. I can put it together with cilantro rice, chipotle sour cream, and maybe some very thinly sliced medium rare new york steak, in about 35 mins. Oh so good!

This is one of my favorite salad recipes and is wonderful to make during the summer months when tomatoes and corn are at its freshest. It is very filling and for my husband and I, it serves as our dinner. The cumin seeds and juices makes this salad dressing and is quite tasty and bursting with flavor.

Amazing flavor and looks gorgeous.

The vinaigrette is the best part of this recipe, we thought it was delicious. The whole thing is pretty time consuming though.

One of my favorite salads to serve guests when preparing a Mexican meal. Very tasty. Takes a little time to prepare but well worth the effort.

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