taco salad, for the summer of my imagination

taco salad

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.

natcho salad

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.

hello delicious

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.

24 comments to “taco salad, for the summer of my imagination”

  1. 1
    Joanne   July 20, 2011 at 3:23 am

    Now this sounds like the perfect way to use up my cucumbers! and also like a delicious salad. So many fun ingredients in one place!

    My CSA is just getting out of salad mode and I’m actually super pleased. I had lettuce coming out of my ears for a while!

  2. 2
    Tracy   July 20, 2011 at 4:56 am

    It is rather hot. While we are used to hazy/hot/humid summers here in the mid-atlantic, the heat dome could bring us to our breaking point. Your salad does look fresh, though. It looks cool and would bring much relief to the summer heat.

  3. 3
    Gretchen @ flowercityfoodie.com   July 20, 2011 at 5:04 am

    This looks delicious–and I think I have most of the ingredients around to turn this into my lunch for today. Thanks for the idea!

  4. 4
    alana (at) the food   July 20, 2011 at 5:51 am

    anything with the word “mexican” and im in!
    im headed back to vancouver in september, and since i left the year before the olympics im so stoked to check out all of the new restaurants the city has to offer!
    any suggestions happily accepted 🙂

  5. 5
    vanillasugarblog   July 20, 2011 at 7:16 am

    when its just too hot outside and you want to eat but don’t want to eat, this is perfect. as it nourishes and never weighs you down.

  6. 6
    NicoleD   July 20, 2011 at 10:18 am

    Perfect for this hot weather! Looks delicious and so fresh.

  7. 7
    hag   July 20, 2011 at 5:16 pm

    Perfect! This is exactly what I am having for dinner tonight. I had no clue and, then there you are, and voila!
    One thing though, I am substituing corn niblets for the olives, since I don’t like olives.

  8. 8
    Margie   July 21, 2011 at 9:50 am

    I’m finally getting caught up on my blog reading after several months in relative obscurity. Since salads are one of my favorite parts of summer, this is perfect. I particularly like taco salads because I never have to make dressing (we always have salsa on hand when tomatoes are good), and there is just something about the crunch of tortilla chips that makes all the difference.

  9. 9
    Nicolette   July 21, 2011 at 10:30 am

    “Light and bright”, I couldn’t agree more. I love salads in the summertime topped with the garden’s freshest produce. Delicious.

  10. 10
    Katie   July 21, 2011 at 12:40 pm

    Every time I look at a post that mentions a CSA, I get a little envious. This was a great, creative use of that salad!

  11. 11
    Bijoux   July 21, 2011 at 2:25 pm

    I’m just in the process of making this now! A perfect salad for the 38 degrees we are having today. I’m literally drenched in sweat from going out to pick up the ingredients. Looking forward to dinner however 🙂

  12. 12
    Kimberley   July 21, 2011 at 10:45 pm

    I love your version of taco salad! I had one recently while on a road trip and I felt like I was really tuning in to the American dining experience. I’m totally partial to yours, though, with chips instead of that hilarious edible taco bowl. And heck yes on that beer.

  13. 13
    Rocky Mountain Woman   July 22, 2011 at 10:44 am

    This looks so perfect for right now. It’s been pretty hot here by our standards (80’s), so I am into salad mode also…

  14. 14
    erika   July 24, 2011 at 3:17 pm

    I’m pretty much obsessed with taco salad during the summertime. Around these parts, we’re seeing a number of southwestern chicken taco salads…

  15. 15
    Blanka   July 25, 2011 at 10:11 am

    hmm, I love Mexican cuisine!
    I must try it, perfect party food.

  16. 16
    shellie   July 25, 2011 at 9:56 pm

    salads are the perfect thing to keep the kitchen cool. we eat a lot here too especially when its in te 90s

  17. 17
    Dana   July 25, 2011 at 10:47 pm

    We always eat a lot of salad in our house, but this time of year, in spite of the fact that is is not actually summer, we eat them as a main course. Yours is so perfect and hearty. I really loved reading all about your New York adventures!

  18. 18
    Nikita   July 26, 2011 at 9:45 am

    I love a healthy taco salad! This looks delicious!

  19. 19
    kickpleat   July 27, 2011 at 5:50 pm

    Thanks everyone for the comments! So glad so many of you have given this a try, it’s a good one 🙂

  20. 20
    Kasey   August 7, 2011 at 3:05 pm

    I am sitting on so many salad recipes. With the markets overflowing with beautiful butter lettuces, my favorite heirloom tomatoes and radishes, I just can’t help myself! I love this fresh take on taco salad.

  21. 21
    kickpleat   August 9, 2011 at 10:39 am

    This is always the best season for salad, isn’t it Kasey! Thanks, this is a fresh and tasty version 🙂

  22. 22
    Ashley   August 24, 2011 at 7:04 am

    I’ve been making tons of big meal salads like this recently but haven’t made a taco salad! I must remedy that soon because yours looks so good.

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