Big Mexican Salad

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Big Mexican SaladOn busy weeknights, Alex and I like to throw a bunch of vegetable odds and ends on a plate and call it a meal. This main dish salad is based on one of our throw-together meals and features a tangy green cilantro dressing that relies on chickpeas for creaminess. Loading the salad with black beans, chickpeas, pepitas, and feta crumbles makes it a hearty vegetarian main that’s pretty simple to put together. You can use any vegetables you have on hand but make sure to balance with proteins like beans, seeds, nuts, and cheese to keep it filling—or try topping it with sautéed shrimp or chicken. For a hearty meal, serve it with a side of avocado toast, Corn Muffins with Green Onions, or Handmade Tortilla Chips and Roasted Poblano Salsa.

  • Yield: 4 Servings


  • 1 medium garlic clove
  • 4 green onions
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice (about 1½ limes)
  • 1 cup packed cilantro leaves and tender stems, plus more for garnish
  • ¾ cup canned chickpeas plus ¼ cup can liquid or water*
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 5 radishes
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 Fresno chile pepper (optional)
  • ¾ cup fresh corn kernels
  • 3 large romaine hearts
  • 1 avocado (optional)
  • 1 15-ounce can black beans
  • ¼ cup chickpeas*
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ cup roasted salted pepitas
How to Make It
  1. Make the dressing: Peel the garlic. Chop the dark and light green portions of the green onions into 3-inch chunks; reserve the white portions for the salad. Juice the limes. In a blender, combine the garlic, green onions, lime juice, cilantro, chickpeas, can liquid, mustard, honey, olive oil, cumin, and kosher salt. Blend on high until smooth and creamy; taste and add additional lime juice or kosher salt if desired. Reserve and refrigerate until using.
  2. Prepare the vegetables: Thinly slice the white portions of the green onions. Thinly slice the radishes. Seed and dice the red pepper. Seed and thinly slice the Fresno chile pepper, if using. Cut the corn off of the cob. Chop the romaine into bite-sized pieces. Chop the avocado, if using.
  3. Prepare the beans: Drain the black beans. In a medium bowl, mix the beans with the chickpeas, olive oil, and kosher salt.
  4. To serve, place the romaine in bowls, then top with the vegetables and beans. Garnish with pepitas and torn cilantro leaves, drizzle with dressing, and serve.

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