Chopped Mexican Salad with Roasted Peppers, Corn, Tomatoes & Avocado


Chopped salads are a beautiful way to show of summer’s terrific produce. Each ingredient is interesting to eat and taste, and together they combine to give you something even better.

For the peppers and corn

2 large orange or red bell peppers
2 ears fresh corn
1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the honey-lime-cumin vinaigrette

1 small clove garlic
Kosher salt
3 Tbs. fresh lime juice
3 Tbs. fresh orange juice
2 tsp. finely chopped shallot
1 Tbs. honey; more to taste
3/4 tsp. cumin seeds, toasted and finely ground
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
To assemble

2 large firm-ripe tomatoes, cored, seeded, and cut into 1/4-inch dice (about 1-3/4 cup)
1 small jícama, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice (2 cups)
2 large firm-ripe avocados, peeled, pitted, and cut into 1/4-inch dice (about 2-1/2 cups)
1 15-oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed (or 1-1/2 cups home-cooked black beans)
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
Roast the peppers and corn
Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 425ºF. Line a heavy-duty rimmed baking sheet with foil. Cut the peppers in half lengthwise and remove the stem, seed core, and ribs. Put the pepper halves on the baking sheet cut side down. Husk the corn and put the ears on the baking sheet. Drizzle the oil over the peppers and corn and rub it around to coat the pepper skins and corn kernels evenly. Sprinkle the corn with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven until the peppers are soft and slightly shriveled and browned and the corn kernels are lightly browned in a few spots, about 20 minutes (rotate the corn occasionally as it roasts).

When the vegetables are done, let them rest until cool enough to handle. Scrape away the pepper skin and cut the flesh into 1/2-inch dice. Cut the corn kernels from the cob. You should have about 1-1/2 cups kernels.

Make the vinaigrette
Mince and mash the garlic to a paste with 1/4 tsp. kosher salt. In a medium bowl, whisk the garlic paste with the lime and orange juices, shallot, honey, and toasted ground cumin. Slowly add the oil in a thin stream, whisking until well blended. Season to taste with black pepper and more salt and honey, if you like.

Assemble the salad

Artfully arrange the corn, tomatoes, peppers, jícama, avocado, and black beans in stripes or piles on a small platter or other wide, shallow serving dish. Sprinkle with the chopped cilantro. Serve the vinaigrette in a pitcher. Encourage guests to spoon elements of the salad onto their plates and drizzle on some of the vinaigrette. Or drizzle the vinaigrette over the salad platter just before serving.

Make Ahead Tips
You can chop all the salad ingredients up to four hours ahead and store them, covered, in the fridge.