Monday, December 3, 2012

Crunchy South-Of-The-Border Salad


We had a nice little weekend getaway in Newport Beach and Laguna Beach and it was chock full of shopping and dining out.  I must confess: I fell off the wagon. Mac and cheese with white cheddar and Stilton? Yep. Profiteroles? Guilty. Enough Indian food to feed a village? Perhaps. But a getaway without a care in the world is always a must!


Now that I am back home, I look forward to marching ahead with a veggie and lean protein week. And that is where this Crunchy South-Of-The-Border Salad comes into play. With plenty of crunch and an unexpected Asian-inspired citrus vinaigrette, it is a favorite in my household.  {This is the same vinaigrette I use for my quinoa and kale salad with roasted corn and spicy cashews and if you make a full batch of this dressing, you'll have enough to make both of these yummy recipes}

Crunchy South-Of-The-Border Salad

4 cups baby spinach (or your favorite greens)
16 oz. black beans, drained and rinsed
1 ear of corn, husked, kernels removed
1/2 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
1 cup jicama, peeled and chopped
1/3 c chopped red bell pepper (or roasted red pepper)
1 avocado, peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2" cubes
2 scallions, chopped (green and white parts)
- and for the dressing:
2 T fresh ginger, peeled and minced
3 T cilantro, coarsely chopped
1 T chives, minced
1/4 c balsamic vinegar
2 t soy sauce
1 t dry mustard
1/2 t chili sauce (sambal oelek *) (or more to taste)
1/2 t grated orange peel
1/2 t salt
1/3 c olive oil

Toss all dressing ingredients except olive oil in a bowl. Slowly whisk in olive oil until fully incorporated. Set aside.

Place spinach in a large bowl and toss with 2 T of dressing.  Divide spinach among plates. Spoon equal amounts of black beans on top of spinach followed by the corn, tomatoes, jicama, and red pepper. Place evenly divided amounts of avocado onto the center of each plate.  Garnish the center of the  avocado mound with scallions. Drizzle each plate with 2 T of dressing or more to taste.

(*) Found in the Asian section of your grocery store.
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Source:  Adapted from Chopstix

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