We have had some stinking hot weather here in the UK over these past few weeks. Its been salad season for sure as I have done everything I can to avoid heating up my kitchen. One of my absolute favourite salads to make is this delicious Mexican Chopped Salad! I love salads, and there is nothing better to enjoy when the heat and humidity have zapped all of your energy. I can never get enough of this tasty salad. It is absolutely filled to the brim with colour, crunch, and fresh summer flavours!
This is a salad that makes full use of the abundance we are enjoying in our kitchen gardens and from the local farm markets at the present as well. With all of this freshness and crunch along with its sweet and tangy Lime & Honey Dressing, you are going to find yourself asking why on earth you don’t make this salad more often!
WHAT YOU NEED TO MAKE MEXICAN CHOPPED SALAD
Just looking at this tasty list of fresh ingredients makes me feel all energetic and healthy!
|INGREDIENTS FOR THE SALAD|
|Red bell pepper|
|Fresh or frozen sweet corn|
|Canned black beans|
|INGREDIENTS FOR THE DRESSING|
|Fresh lime juice|
|Canola or vegetable oil|
|Extra virgin olive oil|
|Salt and black pepper|
You will also need some kind of corn chip to garnish the salad with, kind of like a Tex Mex crouton!
HINTS AND TIPS FOR MAKING MEXICAN CHOPPED SALAD
- Read through the recipe several times to help familiarise yourself with any ingredients or equipment you might need to use in making this salad.
- Assemble all of your ingredients together before you start to prepare the salad. This helps to prevent you from leaving out anything integral to the recipe.
- Use the freshest ingredients you have available. This isn’t the time to empty out the vegetable bin of every tired-looking vegetable it contains.
- It is perfectly acceptable to use frozen corn for this salad. Thaw it out first. Place into a bowl and cover with boiling water. Let sit for several minutes, then drain really well. If you are using fresh corn, you will need to cook it first, see note at end of the recipe.
- Chop all of your salad ingredients into bite-sized bits and try to chop them all about the same size. Nobody should need a knife to eat their salad with.
- I like to use red onion for its vibrant color, but you can also use white or yellow onions, or even green onions if that is all you have.
- Use FRESH lime juice for the dressing. Don’t be tempted to use one of those bottles of juice that you get in the store. There is no comparison in flavor.
- Drain your black beans, rinse them under cold running water to remove any starches and sediment, then drain them well again.
- You can assemble all of the salad vegetables ahead of time, covering the salad bowl and chilling it in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve. Don’t dress the salad or add the croutons/chips until just prior to serving.
- You can make your own corn chips from scratch if you are feeling really energetic. Cut corn or flour tortillas into strips and cook them a few at a time in hot oil. I just use the bagged chips. They work well and are a lot easier.
If you are craving fresh and delicious this is one perfect salad! By the way, don’t allow yourself to be limited to my list of ingredients alone. You can add other things if you wish such as chopped avocado (nice and creamy), sliced black olives, chopped blanched green beans, or jicama are also nice additions.
HOW TO MAKE MEXICAN CHOPPED SALAD
You don’t really need any extraordinary skills to make this. With the use of a nice sharp knife and a wire whisk, you are well on your way!
First prepare all of your vegetables.
Thaw/cook your corn. Chop your zucchini, onion, red pepper, tomatoes and cilantro. Make sure you remove all of the seeds from the tomatoes. You don’t want all that liquid to dilute your salad dressing. Chop your lettuce into bite sized pieces. Drain and rinse your beans.
Combine all of your salad ingredients in a bowl, tossing all together well to combine
Measure the lime juice, honey, cumin garlic and salt for the dressing a measuring cup. Whisk together well with a small hand whisk to blend. Alternately you can whisk everything together in a bowl with an immersion blender. Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary.
Add dressing and toss together.
Garnish with cilantro leaves and a few corn chips. Serve immediately, passing extra corn chips at the table.
SERVING SUGGESTIONS FOR MEXICAN CHOPPED SALAD
This salad makes a perfectly acceptable light lunch, but there are quite a few other ways you can enjoy it. Try serving it as a side dish as a part of a whole Tex Mex meal, alongside Tacos, Nachos, Enchiladas, Burritos or Quesadillas.
You can also serve it with grilled meats, such as marinated and grilled chicken, beef, pork, or fish! Its also excellent served with beef, chicken, or turkey burgers, especially if you have given them the Tex Mex touch of spice. You can turn it into a main/whole meal salad by adding shredded cooked chicken, beef, fish or pork.
This is a great dish to take to covered-dish or potluck suppers. Just make sure you don’t add the dressing until just prior to serving and bring along plenty of extra corn chips for people enjoy as well.
This is also a wonderful lunch option for those who are packing a lunch for school or work and makes a nice change from a sandwich. Just pack the undressed salad into an airtight container, bring sure to pack some dressing and corn chips in separate smaller containers, ready to add at lunchtime!
If you love Tex Mex Cuisine, you are quite simply really going to enjoy this fresh and delicious salad. With its beautiful mix of colours, textures, and flavours, as well as its flavourful dressing, it always goes down a real treat with anyone I choose to serve it to!
For the salad:
- 1 medium head of Romaine lettuce, chopped into ½ inch pieces
- 1 medium bell pepper chopped into a fine dice
- 1 small red onion, peeled and chopped into a fine dice
- 1 medium zucchini, diced into a fine dice
- 4 medium tomatoes, seeded and diced into a fine dice
- 1 ½ cups frozen corn thawed (or fresh corn if in season, approximately 4 medium ears)
- 1 ½ cups black beans, drained and rinsed
- ½ cup of finely chopped cilantro leaves, plus more to garnish
For the dressing:
- ¼ cup fresh lime juice
- 2 TBS honey
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 TBS canola oil
- 2 TBS extra virgin olive oil
- Freshy ground black pepper and fine sea salt to taste
You will also need:
- Corn chips to garnish
- Measure the lime juice, honey, cumin garlic and salt for the dressing a measuring cup. Whisk together well with a small hand whisk to blend. Alternately you can whisk everything together in a bowl with an immersion blender. Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary and set aside.
- Combine all of your salad ingredients in a bowl, tossing all together well to combine. Add dressing and toss together. Garnish with cilantro leaves and a few corn chips. Serve immediately, passing extra corn chips at the table.
if you are using fresh corn, you will need to cook it first. Place the corn, two ears at a time in the microwave oven. Cook on high for 3 ½ minutes. Remove carefully and leave to rest for 5 minutes. Once it is cool enough for you to handle it, lop off the stem end about 1 ½ inches down from the end. You should then be easily able to pull off all of the silk and husks. Cut the kernels free from the cob with a sharp knife
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 230 per 1/8th of recipe
Marie Rayner is a retired Chef, freelance writer, recipe developer, food blogger, and Cookbook author. She makes her home in Chester, UK, where she lives with her husband, Todd, and their much beloved English Cocker, Mitzie. Her motto is “Life is far too short to eat bad food,” and her goal is to share delicious and easy recipes which anyone can enjoy and cook in the comfort of their own home.