I grew up in Texas, so Mexican food is a thing with me. Like..a serious obsessive thing. I’ve often said that if I had to choose one food to eat the rest of my life, it would be Mexican…not chocolate, not pastry…nope! Mexican! So, with that being said, this salad makes me very happy. It has all the flavors that I love and crave…and even though there is no meat in it, it works very well as a whole meal salad. I like making this salad in steps…then putting it all together at the end.
The dressing is made with sour cream, lime juice, lime zest, Sriracha and spices. Mix them all together in a small bowl and then put it in the fridge to chill while you make the rest of the salad.
Sweet, beautiful fresh corn….I love the flavor and the starchiness it adds to this dish, and the fact that you char it first makes it even better. Just clean your ears of corn, strip all the kernels off, toss them with a bit of olive oil, spread them on a baking pan lined with foil and broil them for 6-8 minutes until they get a little bit of that beautiful brown crispiness on the edges. You can use frozen corn or even canned corn for this, but trust me, the fresh stuff is waaaaay better! When your corn is charred, set it aside in a dish.
Now, chop and grill one medium onion and 3 cloves of garlic in a bit of olive oil. I like mine to be really translucent and browned because it goes so well with the charred corn. Do you see a theme here?!? When they are done, set them aside…again, do you see a theme here? LOL
This next part is really clever. Your friends will be amazed!! Take two large flour tortillas and rub one side with olive oil. Make two fist-sized loose balls of foil, and drape the tortillas over them. Arrange the tortillas in the shape of a bowl over the foil balls. Bake these for 6-8 minutes until they crisp up and brown slightly.
While the tortillas are baking, chop one avocado and set it aside. Then, it’s time to take the tortillas out of the oven. How cool is that? You made your very own homemade tortilla bowls…just like the restaurants have! You are a superstar! Now set them aside for a few minutes to cool slightly.
Rinse one can of black beans, and drain well. I use a brand called La Costena which looks more brown than black, but they taste amazing. Also, it’s time to coarsely chop up a small bunch of romaine lettuce. Now gather all of your ingredients together! It’s time to put these amazing salads together!
I usually start by layering romaine in the bottom of my shell, then adding corn, beans, onions and avocado…in that order. Sometimes though, I mix all of the veggies together (except the romaine) and sprinkle the combined mixture over the top of the lettuce. It works great either way! When you have all of your ingredients layered the way you want them, sprinkle a bit of cotija cheese over the top. This is a Mexican cheese with a tangy, salty flavor that rocks on this dish! If you can’t find cotija in your area…then you should move! Seriously…if you can’t find it, try queso fresco, or even feta as a last resort.
Now, drizzle a bit of that spicy dressing right over the top of everything, and sprinkle a little chopped green onions on top for color. You can also use cilantro for this if you like! Either one is great. If you’re really feeling adventurous…use them both! Just look at all those wonderful ingredients together…the charred corn, sauteed onions, black beans, fresh avocado and more! It is a sight to behold!
There’s only one step left at this point, but it’s the most important one! Get your fork! Dig into this pile of yumminess! Is that a word? Well, it is now! As I mentioned earlier, this makes a perfect whole meal salad because it has so many great ingredients. For those of you who cannot live without meat at a meal…think about adding grilled chicken or fajita meat…or even bacon! If you want to serve this with a very large margarita, I won’t tell!
“Mexican food is so full of color, life and music. It’s like a pinata exploding in your mouth.” – Kate McLennan
Salty kisses and sandy hugs! xoxo – Michele
- ½ cup sour cream
- 3 Tbs lime juice
- ½ tsp cumin
- ½ tsp smoked paprika
- ¼ tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp Sriracha
- Zest of one lime
- 2 large flour tortillas
- 4 ears fresh corn, cleaned and kernels stripped from ears
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 small bunch romaine lettuce
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 green onions, sliced thin
- ¼ cup cotija cheese
- Cilantro (optional)
- Olive oil for cooking
- Combine all dressing ingredients in a small mixing bowl
- Mix well to blend
- Set bowl in refrigerator to chill
- Turn broiler on the begin heating
- Prepare a baking pan with foil and cooking spray
- Strip corn kernels from ears and put into a medium bowl
- Toss with 1 tsp olive oil to coat evenly
- Spread corn onto prepared baking sheet and broil till charred, about 6-8 minutes
- Remove from oven and set aside
- Turn oven down to 375 degrees
- Add 2 tsp olive oil to medium skillet over medium-high heat
- Add chopped onion and minced garlic
- Saute until translucent and slightly browned
- Remove from heat and set aside
- Rinse and drain 1 can of black beans, set aside
- Make two fist-sized loose balls of foil and place on baking pan
- Rub one side of flour tortillas with olive oil
- Drape tortillas over foil balls to form bowl shapes
- Bake tortillas for 6-8 minutes or until they become crisp and slightly browned
- Remove from oven and set aside to cool
- Coarsely chop 1 small bunch of romaine lettuce
- Peel and dice one avocado
- Layer ingredients into tortilla bowls, starting with romaine.
- Add corn, black beans, onions and avocado.
- Drizzle dressing over top of salad
- Sprinkle cotija cheese and green onions on top
- Serve immediately.