While taco salad is a great,
substantial choice for hot summer evenings, it's often bogged down with
heavy dressing, loads of cheese and fried chips. That’s why we’re into Jeanine Donofrio’s version from her beautiful blog, Love and Lemons. Living in Austin, Texas,
Jeanine knows her way around tacos and good, spicy Mexican food. She brings
inspiration from her city to this salad with hearty red
quinoa instead of taco meat, arugula instead of watery lettuce, and a healthy
serving of avocado and tomato salsa. You’ll be addicted to the
chipotle lime dressing, great for veggie dip or on salads.
1 ear of corn, kernels sliced off the cob (about 1/2 cup)
Cherry tomato pico
1/4 cup sliced tomatoes (cherry)
1/2 lime (1 to 2 tablespoons)
1/4 cup sliced scallions, white and green, 2 to 3
A few pinches salt
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lime juice (about 1 lime)
1 teaspoon ancho chili powder
1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
1 tablespoon agave syrup
Salt and pepper, to taste
Other salad components
1 cup cooked red quinoa
2 cups arugula
1/2 cup cubed tofu (or meat or cheese of your choice)
1/2 cup cilantro
1/2 sliced avocado
Tortilla strips from 1 tortilla: sliced, baked, salted
1. Roast the poblano pepper and char the corn: Place poblano under the broiler
for 20 or so minutes, until blistered on all sides (time will vary depending on
the heat of your broiler). When it’s fully blistered, remove and place in a
bowl and cover (not touching) with plastic wrap or a towel. Set aside for 15
minutes or so, until it’s cool enough to handle.
2. Using your fingers, slide off the skin and remove the
stem and seeds. Chop into roughly 1/4 inch pieces and place into a small bowl.
3. Toss corn kernels with a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch
of salt. Roast corn kernels under the broiler for 4 to 5 minutes or until they
just begin to blacken. Remove from oven, toss with chopped poblano and set
4. In another small bowl, toss together cherry tomatoes,
lime juice, scallions and a few pinches of salt. Set aside.
5. In another small bowl, whisk together the dressing: olive
oil, lime juice, ancho chili powder, chipotle powder, agave, salt and pepper.
(It might taste too tangy/spicy/sweet on its own, but remember that it will
get diluted when you mix it with everything else.) Set aside.
6. In a large bowl combine red quinoa, arugula, tofu and
cilantro with the dressing. (You might not need all of the dressing; start with
half and add more to your liking.)
7. Toss in the charred corn, chopped poblano and pico. Taste
and adjust seasonings.
8. Top with sliced avocado and tortilla strips and a squeeze