Southwestern Salad

Southwestern Salad

by Amy Flanigan on April 19, 2010 · 18 comments

Just three weeks ago, in Minnesota, our entryway was filled with jackets, scarves, gloves, and snow boots.

Now in California, my kids have spent the last two days lacquered with sunscreen, running through sprinklers in their bathing suits.

Cuckoo.

Also cuckoo – my desire for a salad. In April. Forgive me fellow readers if you’re still in a cold climate and crave no such thing. You should bookmark this and check back in a few months when you’re tired of soup.

I can certainly appreciate how much better produce tastes when it’s in season, but I am not a seasonal cook. I make meals based on my mood. Are you with me? Show of hands, please.

One of my favorite cookbooks? EveryDay Food, Great Food Fast. Least favorite thing about it? It’s organized by season. Lame. Well, Martha’s awesome follow-up, Fresh Flavor Fast, is grouped by course, so apparently I was not alone in my gripe. Much better, Martha.

This easy salad comes from there and I altered it ever so slightly. It’s light, but filling. It’s got heat from the salsa and cheese, but sweetness from the corn. Protein from the beans. Lots of layers, here. And the tortilla chips were an inviting way to get my kids on board. All good.

Now, if you’ll excuse me. I need to go shopping for flip-flops.

Southwestern Salad
Serves 4
Prep time: 15 minutes
Total time: 25 minutes

Ingredients
• 1 can (15 ounce) pinto beans, rinsed and rained
• 1 can (15 ounce) sweet corn, rinsed and drained
• 1/3 cup salsa
• 2 scallions, trimmed and chopped
• 3 plum tomatoes, sliced into large chunks
• Salt and pepper to taste
• 1 package (12 ounce) romaine hearts
• 3 cups (about 3 ounces) broken tortilla chips
• 1 ripe avocado, peeled, pitted, and cut into cubes
• 1 cup grated Pepper Jack cheese or Mexican blend (this is optional if you want a non-dairy meal)

Directions
In a medium pan, heat the beans, corn, and salsa over medium until warmed through. Remove from heat and stir in the scallions and tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

In a large bowl, toss together the lettuce and chips. Divide evenly among four bowls and top with the bean mixture, avocado, and cheese.

(originally from Martha Stewart)

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{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Jen July 1, 2010 at 11:49 am

Amy made this for me last night. OMG – IT IS FABULOUS and so easy to make! I don’t care if Jay does want some sort of meat, I will make it as is. :o)

Thanks Ame! (I’m lovin’ having my sister “home”!)

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Dani H April 28, 2010 at 4:27 am

95 degrees here today in Phoenix, so salad sounds wonderful to me! That’s a gorgeous photo, Amy. Cannot wait to try this! Take care of yourself, doll. Enjoy the weather! *hugs*

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Lora (Tripping with Kids) April 21, 2010 at 11:49 pm

The avacado, which strangely I would not touch until my mid thirties and now I LOVE, should stay where it is. Its good to find a salad that tastes good with beans. I rarely eat beans and need to find a way to fit them in… very sureptitiously. Or maybe I’ll just substitute grilled chicken.

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DebinHawaii April 21, 2010 at 2:50 am

It looks delicious–love those avocado hunks! While I like the concept of cookbooks organized by seasons, they never do me any good here as there are not real “seasons” in terms of big weather changes and most of the food grown, so it never quite matches up. ;-)

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Amy April 20, 2010 at 7:38 pm

Melissa – LOL. No hating. Love ya.

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Melissa April 20, 2010 at 5:41 pm

I like.

I also like recipes organized by season. Don’t hate!

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Amy April 20, 2010 at 3:41 pm

Jen – thought about you and Jay when we were eating this. I think it would taste really good with added grilled chicken.

Joanne – actually, ever since landing back in CA all I want to do is grill…oh wait. I was like that back in MN too ;-)

Paul – I’m a glutton for punishment, no? I can’t help it…avocado is soooooo good.

Dad – Hm. Now I’m in the mood for a BLT.

Mom – This can easily be made for one person. Do it! Don’t allow Dad to rain on your parade!

Jude – Even you, my friend, are capable of making this. Other than heating up the beans/corns/salsa, there’s no cooking involved. It has your name all over it.

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Jude April 20, 2010 at 11:28 am

Salad? What is this leafy green you speak of? It looks tasty enough, but here in the tundra, we subside on beige-colored fishes and hard breads.

Cheese, however, is our third basic food group. …Greetings from Minnah-SO-tah!

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Mom April 20, 2010 at 9:55 am

Looks like I’ll have to eat this one by myself. Unlike a certain person I know, I like all the ingredients and would leave the recipe as is. I’m hungry already………

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Dad April 20, 2010 at 9:47 am

Take out the avocado and beans, and chips. The corn, tomatoes, and cheese can stay. Now add some lettuce and bacon, take out the corn and cheese. And put between two pieces of toast. I’m in the mood for a BLT.

Not too much of the sunscreen. Kids need vitamin D, and unlike Minnesota, California has sun for that purpose.

And watch out for the flip-flops. They could cost you an election.

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Paul April 20, 2010 at 8:06 am

I’m on the fence with Avocado. But this salad is delicious either way. I believe the correct response is NOM NOM NOM.

Amy will look at me with those Shrek “Puss-In-Boots” eyes when I warn her every time about the avocado. And watching sweetstuff get all rashy from gobbling avocado is truly a treat.

Can you hear Rita Coolidge signing “Don’t Cry Out Loud?”

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Joanne April 19, 2010 at 1:09 pm

I am jealous! Really, really jealous. Can you send some of that sunshine over here?

This salad looks fantastic. Southwestern food is just so yummy. Avocado. Cheese. The fat-filled good things in life. I crave them year-round. This is why I should live in CA. My cravings are season-less.

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Jen April 19, 2010 at 12:04 pm

This looks so yummy, and salad sounds so good right now. Maybe if I throw chicken in it Jay will eat it, too.

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Amy April 19, 2010 at 9:51 am

Lisa – I’m an avocado lover, too! I have an allergy to it, though, so I can only have it in small amounts. Actually, I shouldn’t have it at all…but that’s how much I love it. I’m willing to suffer the consequences!

Mellissa – 70 in April…enjoy it now, since you know it could snow again any minute ;-) How’s the new house??!!

Natasha – This salad has a lot of depth from all the different flavors and textures.

Kevi – Ah yes. I feel you on that one. Certainly, seasonal items are usually cheaper or on sale with a buy one/get one free deal. I can’t keep enough Clementines or Strawberries in my house right now.

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kitchensink April 19, 2010 at 9:20 am

HA! I am a mood cooker as well. Although these days I am trying to allow “what’s on sale” to influence my temperament.

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5 Star Foodie April 19, 2010 at 9:09 am

A terrific salad! I love the combo of all the ingredients, yum!

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Mellissa April 19, 2010 at 7:54 am

Now that is just rubbing it in ;) It is going to be 70 here today!

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Lisa@The Cutting Edge of Ordinary April 19, 2010 at 7:44 am

I think once the weather gets sunny here, even if it’s not warm, I’m craving salads too. This one looks delicious!Avocado in anything makes me better for me. Yum.

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