Inspired by a salad from a local restaurant, this Honcho Chop Salad wins the award for most add-ins! Toss chopped lettuce with cooked quinoa, black beans, charred corn, diced carrots, grilled onion, tomato, radish and spiced pepitas. Finally drizzle this gorgeous salad with a simple and flavorful cilantro lime vinaigrette.
I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, I love a salad that is loaded with add-ins. Toppings galore that end up perfectly dressed in vinaigrette at the bottom of my bowl is what I live for. This honcho chop salad is the perfect example of what I love.
Inspired by a salad from a local tex-mex restaurant nearby. In it, chopped romaine is topped with black beans, grilled red onion, charred corn, chopped carrot, quinoa and tomatoes. But the spiced pepitas, which only take minutes to make, add crunch and flavor. Then the whole salad is drizzled in a simple and ridiculously delicious cilantro lime vinaigrette which turns this into one amazing salad.
This salad is bright, colorful and flavorful salad that yields 4 generous portions that will no doubt satisfy you. Add chicken for extra protein and avocado because they’re ripe and not solid rocks sitting on your counter. #storyofmylife 🙄
This salad isn’t as simple as chopping up raw vegetables and adding them to a bowl. There is a little bit of prep work, however you could do most of it in advance.
To Make This Honcho Chopped Salad You Need:
- red leaf and romaine lettuce
- charred sweet corn
- cooked black beans, rinsed and drained
- chopped carrot
- diced tomato
- red onion, sliced and grilled
- 1 cup cooked quinoa
- 6 radishes sliced thin
- spiced pepitas
- cilantro lime vinaigrette (recipe to come).
For the spiced pepitas:
In a 10-inch skillet toss 3/4 cup of pepitas with the juice of 1/2 a lime, 1-1/2 teaspoons Mexicali seasoning and a few pinches of kosher salt. Next heat the skillet on medium. Stir occasionally until the pepitas are toasted. About 4 to 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, grill onion slices and roughly chop,and char 1-1/2 cups of corn in a small, dry cast iron or nonstick skillet.
To Make The Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette You Will Need:
- lime zest
- lime juice (about 1 large lime)
- garlic (grated or finely minced)
- teaspoon sugar
- kosher salt
- ground coriander
- onion powder
- olive oil
- freshly ground black pepper
In a jar, measure and add 1/2 teaspoon lime zest, 2-1/2 tablespoon lime juice (about 1 large lime), 1/2 to 1 small clove of garlic (grated or finely minced), a 1/2 teaspoon sugar, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, 1/8 teaspoon each of ground coriander, cumin and onion powder, 1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro, 2 tablespoons olive oil.
Whisk to combine and season with a few turns of freshly ground black pepper. This is a small batch recipe, because a little goes a long way, and also after 1 day the cilantro will discolor. Consider doubling as needed for this recipe.
To serve; add the chopped lettuce into bowls and top with all the toppings.
Next, sprinkle with the a few tablespoons of the spiced pepitas and then drizzle the salad with few spoonfuls fo the vinaigrette.
A little of the dressing does go a long way, so use it sparingly.
Lastly, toss to combine and sprinkle with queso fresco (optional) and a few extra cilantro leaves. If you have avocado, use it! Of course, my avos were still pretty rock hard so I couldn’t. However that didn’t take away from this amazing salad. Also consider adding sliced grilled chicken or shrimp is equally delicious for some added protein.
From the dressing to the spiced pepitas and all those veggies, this salad will knock your socks off.
Honcho Chop Salad
CILANTRO LIME VINAIGRETTE:
- 1/2 teaspoon lime zest
- 2½ tablespoons lime juice, about 1 large lime
- 1/2 clove garlic, or more to taste, grated
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/8 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/8 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 pinch black pepper, freshly ground, or more to taste
- 1 tablespoon cilantro, minced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3/4 cup pepitas, shelled green pumpkin seeds
- 1/2 lime, juiced
- 1½ teaspoons Mexicali seasoning
- 2 pinches kosher salt
HONCHO CHOP SALAD:
- 1 (medium) head romaine lettuce, chopped
- 1 (medium) head red leaf lettuce, chopped
- 1 cup sweet corn, charred
- 1 cup black beans, (canned) rinsed and drained
- 1 cup carrot, chopped
- 1 cup tomato, diced
- 1 medium red onion, sliced and grilled
- 1 cup cooked quinoa
- 6 radishes, sliced thin
- 1/4 cup queso fresco, for serving
MAKE THE CILANTRO LIME VINAIGRETTE:
- In a glass jar combine all ingredients, whisking to combine.
- This is a small batch recipe. Because a little goes a long way, and also after 1 day the cilantro will discolor. Consider doubling as needed for this recipe.
MAKE THE SPICED PEPITAS:
- In a 10-inch skillet, toss the pepitas, lime juice, Mexicali seasoning and salt. Heat on medium until the lime juice evaporates and the pepitas are toasted. About 4 to 5 minutes.
MAKE THE SALAD:
- Divide the chopped lettuce among 4 bowl, top each with a 1/4 of the corn, black beans, carrot, tomato, quinoa and radishes.
- Top with a few tablespoons of pepitas and drizzle with a couple teaspoons of the vinaigrette.
- Lastly, serve with queso fresco and extra cilantro if desired.
- Add diced avocado, grilled chicken or shrimp.
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