Recipe of the Week!March 31, 2010
Today’s Recipe of the Week is a bit of a blast from the past. I remember having taco salad at home as a youngster, and I always enjoyed it. I went many years without having it again for some reason – I guess I always found something else to order on restaurant menus, and I never felt motivated to make it at home. But it’s basically a deconstructed giant taco. This recipe, courtesy of Ruth Reichl, features an amazing vinaigrette to top the salad, bringing together all the flavors of the beef, cheese, onions and spices. Leave in the jalapeno seeds if you want some heat. Please enjoy this week’s Recipe of the Week!
Taco Salad with Salsa Vinaigrette
1 large clove garlic, chopped
2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
3 tbsp. lime juice
½ tsp. kosher salt
½ tsp. ground cumin
¼ tsp. ground pepper
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup chopped, seeded tomatoes
1 large jalapeño, seeded, chopped
½ cup loosely packed cilantro leaves
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 large clove garlic, minced
2 tsp. chili powder
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 lb lean ground beef
2 tbsp. tomato paste
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. ground pepper
2 romaine hearts, thinly sliced
3 small tomatoes, coarsely chopped
6 oz. sharp cheddar, shredded
4 green onions, thinly sliced
½ cup crushed tortilla chips
2 avocados, pitted and coarsely chopped
For vinaigrette, toss garlic into blender and whirl until chopped. Add vinegar, lime juice, salt, cumin and pepper. Whirl in blender until smooth. With motor running, add oil in slow stream. Blend until well combined. Add tomatoes, jalapeño and cilantro. Blend until smooth.
For salad, heat 1 tablespoon oil in large skillet on medium-low. Add onion, garlic, chili powder and cumin. Cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add beef. Turn heat to medium. Cook, stirring to break up clumps, until no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Add tomato paste, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until meat is cooked through, about 2 minutes. Transfer to bowl to cool.
To serve, spread romaine over large platter or shallow serving bowl. Top with beef mixture. Arrange tomato wedges over beef. Scatter cheddar, chips, green onions and avocado over top. Serve vinaigrette alongside. Eat!