This Salad Is a Tex-Mex Lover’s Dream Come True

Photo: Kim Cornelison and Diana Scanlon

The Minimalist Kitchen Cookbook
Photo: Time Inc. Books

When food blogger-turned-cookbook author Melissa Coleman lived in Texas, she fell in love with the Southwest's ubiquitous Tex-Mex cuisine. "The food was always simple and fresh but packed huge flavor—usually from the sauce," she recalls.

Her love for the Texas spin on Mexican culinary tradition is what inspired her chipotle-garlic chopped salad recipe, from her new cookbook, The Minimalist Kitchen. When you combine fresh Tex-Mex flavor with a plant-rich ingredients list, the end result is a totally craveable salad, according to Coleman.

"It’s spicy, smoky, and sour from the chipotle vinaigrette. It’s salty and crunchy from the bacon. And it’s sweet from the charred corn."

Coleman's top tip for keeping salads fresh and exciting—no matter what flavor palate you're working with—is to constantly diversify the texture and array of the ingredients you're working with. There's a whole pantry full of options to play with!

Keep reading for Coleman's recipe.

Chipotle-Garlic Chopped Salad

Yields 4 salads

For the chipotle-garlic dressing:
1/2 cup olive oil
2 Tpsp pureed chipotles in adobo
1 Tbsp ketchup
1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
1 Tbsp mayonnaise
2 cloves garlic, smashed
1/2 tsp kosher salt
Squeeze of honey (optional)

For the sautéed corn:
2 tsp olive oil
1 1/2 cups frozen or fresh corn
1/4 tsp kosher salt

For the salad:
1 1/2 lb romaine, thinly sliced
20 sweet potato tortilla chips
1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1⁄2 cup sliced grape tomatoes
1 avocado, diced
3 radishes, thinly sliced
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

For the dressing
1. In a high-powered blender or food processor, add all of the dressing ingredients. Cover and blend on high until smooth, about 30 seconds. This yields one cup. Store covered in the fridge for up to a month. The dressing will separate and harden in the fridge. Run under warm water and shake to re-emulsify.

For the corn 
1. Heat a small skillet over medium-high. Once warm, add the oil and the corn. Cook for five minutes, stirring often. Add the salt and continuing cooking for five minutes more or until charred, stirring often.

For the salad 
1. Divide them evenly among four serving plates or serve family style in a large shallow bowl. Add the corn, tossing to combine. Shake the dressing just before serving and distribute evenly among the salads.

Note: For a meat option, add three slices of chopped crispy bacon or marinated chicken.

For more salad recipes, check out these go-to orders wellness insiders swear by. And if your salad is making you bloated, this could be why.

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