August 2 2012

Heat wave number six !

This is heat wave number six here in Philly, according to the meteorologists, and the best way to ride it out is to stay inside, eat cool foods and avoid turning on the oven at all costs. To help you out, we’re sharing one of our favorite summertime recipes from At Home, our Tex-Mex Chopped Salad, a tangle of crispy vegetables and tortilla shards with a bright avocado dressing. Add a cerveza or a margarita and call it dinner. No sweat.

 Tex-Mex Chopped Salad

do ahead  Salad can be prepped up to one day ahead. Dressing can be made two days ahead. Dress salad and add avocado just before serving.


2 plum tomatoes, halved, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/4 medium red onion, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
2 scallions, chopped, white and green parts
1 medium red pepper, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
1 medium green pepper, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
1/2 cup cubed jicama (optional)
4 cups chopped romaine lettuce
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
15-ounce can black beans, rinsed
1 cup tortilla chips
4 ounces sharp cheddar, grated


Guacamole Dressing

finely grated zest of 1 lime
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon lime juice
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 teaspoon finely chopped jalapeño
1/4 cup plus 2 teaspoons olive oil
2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon pepper, divided
1 ripe but firm avocado
1. In a large bowl, combine tomatoes, red onion, scallions, red pepper, green pepper, optional jicama, romaine, cilantro and black beans.
2.  Make dressing: Combine lime zest, lime juice, garlic, jalapeño, olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Set aside
3. Cut avocado in half by running a knife laterally around the middle until you reach the pit. Using the knife, pry halves apart. Peel away skin and discard. Use the tip of the knife to remove the pit. Cut each half into sixths. Cut two of the six pieces into small cubes. Cut the remainder into large cubes.
4. Add small cubes to dressing and add large cubes to the vegetables. Pour dressing and remaining salt and pepper over vegetables and toss well.
5.  Put tortilla chips in a small plastic bag and break them into crouton-sized pieces. In a bowl, combine them with cheddar cheese. Place chopped vegetables on a platter. Arrange cheddar and tortilla chip mix on top, mounding as needed so it doesn’t cover the entire salad.