This Mexican Chopped Salad is perfect with any Mexican meal and always gets rave reviews! It’s also delicious spooned over chicken, shrimp or pork or beef!
This might seem a little strange, but it makes me really happy to come home from the grocery store or farmer’s market loaded down with all sorts of beautiful, fresh produce. And if I find it for a super duper price, well, let’s just say I’m like a little pig in mud.
I always have fun deciding what to do with my stash of fresh goodies. I’ve been rolling around ideas for a Mexican Chopped Salad for a while now. So when I found tiny sweet peppers, red onions, fresh succulent corn and zucchini, all on sale this week, I did a little happy dance, knowing it was time to make that south of the border-inspired salad happen.
What is jicama?
I just needed to find one more item; the item that could very likely win “the ugliest member of the produce aisle” award. Can you guess what I might be?
One small jicama (pronounced hē-kə-mə) is what I needed to complete my salad. Jicama is often used in South American cooking. The plant is native to Mexico and jicama is used commonly in Mexican cooking. I love to use it in salsas and salads as it gives a lovely, slightly sweet crunch, and doesn’t lose its crispness over time.
If you’ve never purchased jicama before, don’t be surprised when you finally find it looking like a speckly, brown, misshapen potato. But there’s lots of nutritional goodness hiding under that humble surface.
Jicama is low in calories and high in fiber, potassium, iron and vitamin C. I would describe the taste and texture as a cross between an Asian pear, a potato and an apple. Pick one up next time you’re at the grocery, you may discover a new culinary friend! Jicama is wonderful in salads and can also be cut in sticks and eaten with dips like hummus and dips.
Back to my Mexican Chopped Salad. It’s the kind of salad I can never get enough of; fresh, vibrantly colored, loaded with flavor. Eating it, makes me feel energetic and healthy. The dressing is light and bright, with just a few ingredients; fresh lime juice, honey, a clove of garlic and a splash of oil. A pinch of cumin along with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper finishes it off perfectly. I love simple recipes like this.
If you like a little crunch in your salad, as we do, be sure to pick up a package of corn tortillas. That’s what you’ll use to make the crispy topping for this wonderful salad. Just slice them up, drizzle with a bit of oil and pop the pan in the oven till they’re gloriously golden brown; a perfect complement.
Okay, and one little secret I have to share. See how all the veggies are chopped perfectly to the same size in this Chopped Mexican Salad? That’s not me. Nope, if I was doing the chopping, they’d be all random sizes. I have this Vidalia Chop Wizard that I’d have a hard time managing without. When I want to make a pot of soup or a salad with lots of chopped veggies in a hurry, I just pull out this little magic chopper and 1-2-3 I’m done!
What to serve this salad with:
- Perfect with any Mexican entree; tacos, enchiladas, quesadillas, burritos, etc
- Delicious spooned on top of nachos.
- Serve it with chips (just omit the lettuce).
- Delicious with grilled chicken, seafood, pork or beef.
- A wonderful side to serve with burgers.
- Make a healthy, whole meal salad by adding rotisserie chicken.
- This salad is perfect for potlucks and picnics as it goes so well with everything. Don’t expect leftovers, you’ll be sure to come home with an empty bowl!
If you’re craving fresh and delicious, be sure to add these ingredients to your grocery list. Make this Mexican Chopped Salad and enjoy it for dinner along with some grilled chicken, pork or seafood. Then pack it up for lunch the next day, as it keeps quite well. Just a warning though; all your co-workers will be drooling over your delicious, brightly colored lunch. Enjoy!
Café Tips for Making this Mexican Chopped Salad…
- This video demonstrates the microwave corn technique. It’s so simple and I purchase corn much more frequently now as it’s so easy to prepare! The husks and silks just pull away. The corn is clean and just slightly cooked, perfect for salads like this.
- For a pretty presentation, try to chop all the ingredients about the same size. See notes above regarding this.
- Although fresh corn is ideal in this salad, you can substitute frozen corn when fresh is not available.
- The tortilla strips are optional and if you’re short on time, just skip them. The salad will be delicious without them. Often, if I’m serving this salad as a side to grilled entrees or burgers, I make it without tortilla strips.
- I love red onion in this recipe as it adds such pretty color but yellow or white onion is also delicious!
Do you love South-of-the-Border cuisine? Check out some of our Mexican-inspired recipes like our Homemade Flour Tortillas. We’ve gotten over 1100 comments from cooks all over the world who have fallen in love with these easy tortillas!
And this Mexican Honey Lime Grilled Chicken has also been super popular with our readers. It’s perfect for a cookout or summer party!
This Mexican Chopped Salad might just be the freshest, healthiest, most delicious salad you’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting. And it’s loaded with fabulous Southwestern flavor!
- ¼ cup fresh lime juice
- 2 tablespoons honey
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- 1 clove garlic finely minced
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- freshly ground black pepper
- taste and add salt if needed
- 6 6- inch corn tortillas
- 1 ½ tablespoons canola oil
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 medium head romaine lettuce chopped in approximately 1/2 inch pieces
- 1 medium bell pepper diced in 1/4-inch pieces**, any color (I used orange)
- ½ medium red onion diced in 1/4-inch pieces**
- ½ medium jicama peeled and diced in 1/4-inch pieces**
- 1 medium zucchini diced in 1/4-inch dice**
- 4 medium tomatoes seeded and diced into 1/4-inch dice**
- 4 ears corn if fresh corn is not in season, substitute 1 1/2 cups of sweet, tiny frozen corn
- 1 1/2 cups canned black beans drained and rinsed
- 1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro plus whole cilantro leaves for garnish, if desired
For the dressing, combine lime juice, honey, cumin garlic and salt.
- In a slow, steady stream, add the oils, stirring continuously with a fork or small whisk.
- Taste and add more salt and pepper, if needed. Set aside.
For the corn tortilla strips, preheat oven to 400˚F.
- Stack corn tortillas on a cutting board. Cut in half. Cut each stack of halves into thin strips, widthwise, about 1/4-inch thick.
- Transfer tortilla strips to a sheet pan. Drizzle with oil. Sprinkle with salt and toss to coat.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes, or until light golden brown and crisp. Set aside to cool.
For the salad, place corn, two ears at a time, in the microwave and cook for 3 1/2 minutes.
- Remove from microwave with a hot pad and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
- After cooling, cut bottom end of corn off, about 1 1/2 inches from end. Pull back husk and silks (almost all of the silk should easily pull away). Cut kernels from husks and set aside.
- Combine corn and other salad ingredients in a large bowl. Stir to combine. Add dressing and stir to coat all ingredients. Garnish with cilantro leaves, if desired.
- Serve with tortilla strips on top or place a bowl on the side and let guests help themselves.
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