While Supplies Last: Southwestern Salad with Chili-Lime Vinaigrette

Avoid the urge to eat squash just yet, there will be time enough for that. For now, let us all gorge on tomatoes (while supplies last.)

But Maggie, you say, I’ve eaten more caprese salads than I can bear. I just can’t take it anymore!

I know, I know. That’s why you need this recipe now.

Over the years, my brother and I gave my mom a fair number of cookbooks as presents. Some of them were pretty to look at, but quickly shelved. Others moved into the weekly rotation and became family standards. Ray Overton’s Main Course Salads was one of the winners, and his version of this salad was a staple in our household growing up.

You can make this dish as Mr. Overton does, with a drained, rinsed can of corn. Come winter, come spring, when fresh ears of corn are a just a fantasy, go ahead. As tempting as the first pears and grapes and pumpkins are, now is the time for the freshest version of this salad possible. The cumin and chili-powder spiked vinaigrette is zingy and potent. Tomatillos add acidity while the black beans add protein and richness. Try to track down fresh Mexican cheese; there isn’t really a good substitute, though feta would be ok in a pinch.

While we’re talking tomatoes, you should probably consider buying more than you can possibly eat now, and freezing some for colder days. Pop ‘em in a roasting pan first with some olive oil, fresh herbs, salt, and a few garlic cloves and roast at 250 or 300 for a few hours.

You’ll thank me later.

Southwestern Salad with Chili-Lime Vinaigrette
adapted from Ray Overton

For salad
3 ears corn, husked
1 can black beans, rinsed
3-4 medium ripe tomatoes (I used heirloom, but regular are fine)
4 tomatillos
1 cucumber
1/2 red or yellow onion
4 ounces queso cheese, crumbled
handful tortilla chips, crumbled (optional but tasty)

For dressing
Juice of two limes
1/2 T chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1/4 neutral oil
salt and pepper

Mix first five dressing ingredients  in a bowl until well blended. Drizzle in oil while stirring, then add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside while you prepare salad.

Blanch corn in boiling water for one minute. Cut kernels from corn and spread in glass serving bowl. Layer rinsed and drained black beans on top. Slice tomatoes and tomatillos in thin crescents and lay on top of beans. Slice cucumber into thin rounds and add to serving bowl. Chop onion small and add. Top with queso and chips. Show everyone how pretty the layers are. Then toss with dressing and serve with tortillas or quesadillas.

In beans, citrus, salad, vegetables, vegetarian

Email This Post Email This Post | Bookmark or Share | | Print This Post Print This Post