Friday, May 3, 2013

Spicy Avocado Poblano Salad

Spicy Healthy Vegetarian Mexican Salad Recipe With Poblano and Avocado

I am admittedly obsessed with avocados {and cheese for that matter}, but that's not why I am head over heels for this salad. No -  this salad is a kaleidoscope of textures and flavors that marry together in perfect harmony. Roasted chilies; creamy avocado; crunchy pepitas, radishes and jicama; crumbly, salty cotija cheese; a citrus vinaigrette spiked with cayenne pepper. It's a healthy and fresh dish with a south-of-the-border influence. A recipe unearthed perhaps because I have Cinco de Mayo on my mind. This is an enjoyable, light lunch. Or a starter {ideally followed by tacos and washed down with a homemade margarita}.

Spicy Avocado Poblano Salad

4 medium poblano chilis 
2 T fresh lime juice
1/8 t salt, or more to taste
1/4 t honey
1/8 t cayenne pepper
3 T grapeseed oil {or canola oil}
2 firm, ripe Haas avocados
8 oz jicama, peeled and chopped
1/4 c crumbled cotija cheese
1/4 toasted pepitas {pumpkin seeds}
4 radishes, cut into matchsticks

Preheat oven to broil and place oven rack 6" from heat. Place peppers on a broiler-proof tray and turn as needed until all sides are blackened. Remove from oven and wrap peppers loosely in foil to allow them to steam for a few minutes {this makes the removal of the skin easier}. Remove from foil and when cool enough to handle, peel and discard the skin. Remove and discard the stems and seeds and cut into 2"' pieces. Set aside.

In a bowl, combine 1 T of lime juice with the salt, honey, cayenne pepper and oil. Taste and adjust salt if you'd like, remembering that the cheese will add a little but of salty flavor.  {The original recipe calls for 1 t but I found 1/8 t to be adequate.} Set aside.

Peel and seed the avocados and cut into bite size chunks. Drizzle avocado with remaining 1 T of lime juice.

To assemble the salads, arrange alternating layers of poblano, avocado and jicama on 4 plates; drizzle with some dressing.  Add another layer of poblano and avocado. Drizzle with remaining dressing. Tuck remaining jicama into the salads along the side. Sprinkle each salad with cheese, pepitas and radishes.

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Source: Adapted from Sunset Magazine.

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