I was thinking it had been a while since I made a taco salad, and after a quick look back through my recipes I discovered that the last one I made was full of chicken, so it’s definitely been well over a year. Which, clearly, is too damn long. I was inspired to make this after receiving the Thug Kitchen TK101 book for my birthday, and way too many hours spent watching Jamie Oliver flit about the kitchen in 15 Minute Meals, but because I suck at following recipes and prefer to just do my own thing, I naturally deviated from both sources of inspiration and created my own version.
Made up or not, this shit was GOOD. Jammed full of health, but packing a punch with yummy crispy bits and the most amazing zingy dressing — just to make it feel a little bit naughty. And remember guys, there are no rules here — this salad could be totally pimped up with some grated cheese, crunchy corn chips, black olives or sour cream, should you feel the urge to splurge.
1 cup dried black beans, soaked for 6-8 hours*
1 cos lettuce, rinsed and cut into manageable bite-sized pieces
1/2 punnet cherry tomatoes, quartered
1/2 continental cucumber, diced
1/2 avocado, diced
1/2 red onion, finely diced
2 cobs sweet corn, husks removed
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
Salt & pepper
Coriander leaves, for garnish
1/2 bunch coriander, stalks & leaves
5 or 6 pickled jalapenos, plus ~2 tbsp of juice
2-3 tbsp non-fat plain yoghurt
Juice of 1 lime
Salt & pepper
Take your soaked your black beans, drain, rinse and transfer to a saucepan full of water, bring to the boil and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until just tender. Drain and set aside.
Next, heat a griddle pan or barbecue, and chuck the corn on – no oil, no nothing. Keep your eye on it and turn regularly until all sides are nicely charred. At the same time, grab a large frypan and heat a little splash of olive oil, then add the beans along with the paprika, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes, until the beans are dry and sort of puffed up.
Meanwhile, while the corn and beans are doing their thing, prepare the lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, onion and avocado and divide between two large bowls (and I mean large!), then spoon over a generous amount of beans. Remove the corn kernels from the cob with a sharp knife, then divide evenly between the two bowls. Garnish with coriander leaves, and get excited ’cause you’re almost there!
To make the dressing, simply combine the ingredients in a blender of some sort, and blitz until combined. Serve alongside the salad so it doesn’t get all soggy, and get ready for some serious eats.
Makes 2 LARGE serves.
*If you don’t have time to soak your beans, just pop them in a saucepan of water, bring to the boil and simmer for 30-40 minutes until tender.