New Mexico Chopped Salad

Poblano Chile Peppers

I love making different summer side salads. Here is one that has poblano chilies.  

Poblano peppers are one of the most popular peppers grown in Mexico.  The poblano is a relatively mild chile pepper originating in the State of Puebla, Mexico. Dried it is called an ancho chile. While poblanos tend to have a mild flavor, occasionally and unpredictably a poblano can have significant heat.

Also, it calls for corn cut off the cob. I usually use Trader Joe’s frozen roasted corn – it’s easier and roasted, which adds a depth of flavor.

New Mexico Chopped Salad

Serves 8

2 ears corn
2 poblano (also called pasilla) chilies, stemmed and seeded
1 red bell pepper, stemmed and seeded
1 cucumber, peeled and seeded
1 cup chopped green onions
1 cup jicama, diced
1 can (about 15 oz) black beans, rinsed and drained
2 firm-ripe avocados
1/2 cup lime juice
1 tsp hot chili flakes
Green desert dressing (recipe follows)
Cornbread croutons (recipe follows)

Cut corn kernels from cobs; discard cobs. Taste corn. If it’s tender, use raw; if it’s starchy, cook corn in a microwave-safe bowl and heat in a microwave for about 2 minutes. Let cool. Put in a large bowl.

Cut chilies, bell pepper, and cucumber into 1/4-inch dice; add to bowl, along with green onions, jicama, and beans.

Cut avocados in half; pit and peel them. Cut 3 halves into 1/4-inch dice; reserve remaining half for dressing. Add diced avocado, lime juice, and 1 teaspoon chili flakes to bowl and mix gently Add salt to taste.

Mound salad equally in wide, shallow bowls. Pile croutons alongside and spoon dressing over the top (or serve on the side). Sprinkle with more chili flakes to taste.

Green desert dressing

In a blender or food processor, whirl 1 peeled avocado half, 3/4 cup sour cream, 1/4 cup reduced-fat or regular mayonnaise, 1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro, 1/2 cup coarsely chopped parsley, 1/4 cup chopped green onions (including tops), and 1 can (2 oz.) flat anchovy fillets with oil until smooth. Makes about 13/4 cup.

Cornbread croutons

Prepare 1 box (about 13 oz.) cornbread mix as directed, or use your favorite cornbread recipe; bake in an 8-inch square pan. Let cool about 10 minutes, then invert onto a rack to cool. Cut into 1-inch cubes. Spread 3 tablespoons olive or salad oil in a rimmed 10- by 15-inch pan. Add cornbread and turn to coat lightly with oil. Bake in a 375[degrees] regular or convection oven, turning occasionally until evenly browned, 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool at least 10 minutes. Use warm or cool.


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