As soon as we came back home from our NYC holiday, we picked up our first CSA share. As always, the first few CSA shares start small and then ramp up as the growing season really begins to take off. Our first couple shares looked something like this: tiny red and white potatoes, a wee bit of broccoli, chard and kale, a beet and turnip, or two, and lots of lettuce. We’ve got enough oak leaf and red leaf lettuce to make salads for days and I couldn’t be happier. These are our salad days and I’ve chosen to revel in our abundance.
Main dish salads are fine with me. I love to eat big raw salads when it’s too hot to cook. And while the rest of the country seems to be under this reported “heat dome”, the pacific north west seems to be just shy of its covering. It’s not hot here. In fact, it resembles a rainy spring April instead of a sweltering middle of summer July. But I’ve got salads to eat and I can crack open a cold beer and dig into my salad bowl and pretend that I’m in warmer climes. I pity those without imagination.
This taco salad is a cinch and it goes perfectly with a beer, if that’s how your summers roll by. Greens, freshly prepared salsa (or that “fresh” salsa from your local grocer works just fine here), sliced black olives, black beans, cucumbers and bright yellow peppers. If I had some fresh or decent frozen corn, I would have thrown some in. Add lots of lime juice, a bit of spice, and a handful of salty tortilla chips crumbled over top. I added avocados to my husband’s plate but skipped it on mine because I’m weird like that. Don’t worry, you don’t even need cheese or sour cream to muddy things up. Keep it light and bright, like the best summer of my mind.
1 large head of lettuce (rinsed, dried & torn to bits)
1 can of black beans, drained & rinsed
1/2 cucumber, diced
1 yellow pepper, diced
1/4 can of sliced black olives, drained
1/2 c fresh salsa
1/4 c freshly squeezed lime juice (or about 1.5 – 2 limes)
1/4 c olive oil
1 t crushed aleppo peppers (or 1/4 t chili flakes)
1/2 t cumin
a few squirts of your favorite hot sauce
1 avocado, sliced
a few handfuls of tortilla chips
In a large bowl, toss together the first 5 ingredients. In a 2-cup measuring cup, mix together the next 6 ingredients and pour over the salad. Scatter avocado slices on top along with the crushed tortilla chips.