Taco(ish) Salad with Salsa Fresca

June 29, 2011

I have four entree salads in my recipe rotation, and tonight I discovered a great way to kick one of them up a notch using some cilantro and garlic scapes I had left over from the Farmers’ Market this week.  Sadly, I was down to half a tomato and ran out of greens, so I had to supplement with supermarket produce. Maybe I need bigger bags for Saturdays… Anyhow – salsa fresca! This was completely easy to make, pretty much just chopping, stirring it up, and checking the taste. I didn’t have any chili peppers at home, but not to fear, I had some dried chipotle peppers that I bought a while ago from Savory Spice Shop.  I just reconstituted one, removed the seeds, and minced it.

Tomatoes, Green onions, Garlic Scapes, and Cilantro

A word about chili peppers.  You have to experiment with them to find out which ones are just the right amount of hot for you (or not-hot, as the case may be).  And add the pepper to your dish gradually.  My husband and I both have created a couple of mouth and lip burners by not following the incremental method.  The best way to check a chili pepper’s heat is to cut a piece off, and just touch it to your tongue.  Should you experience painful burning, have some dairy, and move back down the Scoville Scale.  Hopefully you won’t start too high up, and this won’t be a problem.  The seeds have the most heat, so if you want to reduce the heat a bit, take those out.  Also be careful not to rub your eyes after touching the cut pepper – capsaicin isn’t something you want in your eyes.

Salsa Fresca

I prefer romaine lettuce for this salad, but any basic, sturdier lettuce would work.  For tortilla chips, we really like Guiltless Gourmet’s black bean or blue corn.  We use Kuner’s canned beans, as we find they are a bit firmer than most brands.  We like to use non-fat Greek yogurt in place of sour cream to cut the fat down a bit.

My husband felt that the salad was too ‘juicy’ with the salsa made as it was, but I thought it was just the right amount. If you want yours less liquidy, just seed the tomatoes before you chop them.

Taco(ish) Salad with Salsa Fresca

Salsa Fresca
2-3 tomatoes – 1 or 2 finely chopped, 1 chopped a bit rougher
2 green onions, finely chopped
2 garlic scapes (or 1 garlic clove), finely chopped
1 small bunch of cilantro, chopped
2 tsp lime juice
chili pepper type and amount of your choice, minced
salt and pepper to taste

Combine the first six ingredients in a bowl, and then add a bit of the minced chili, taste, and if it’s not hot enough, add some more.  Repeat until you reach the heat you want.  Salt and pepper to taste.

romaine or other salad greens
tortilla chips
2 grilled ears of corn, kernels cut off
1/2 – 1 can of black beans
salsa fresca (recipe above)
4 Tbsp guacamole
4 Tbsp plain Greek yogurt

Chop or tear the romain, and put into two large bowls.  Line the outside of the bowl with tortilla chips. Add the corn and beans. Top each salad with as much salsa as you want, half of the guacamole and half of the Greek yogurt.

Taco(ish) Salad


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