mexican chopped salad with cumin dressing from LA’s Border Grill

mexican chopped salad with cumin dressing from LA’s Border Grill
1 cup corn kernels
grilled, can be found in Trader Joe’s freezer section
1 whole poblano chile
or more to taste, roasted, peeled, seeded, and diced
2 tbsp cumin seeds
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 tbsp honey
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
or to taste
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 1/2 cup corn tortillas
sliced thin
1 1/2 cups chicken breast
shredded, exclude for vegan
1 1/2 cups chickpeas
1 whole apple
medium size, peeled, cored, and diced, either Granny Smith, Pink Lady, or Honeycrisp
1 whole red onion
1 whole tomato
seeded and diced
1 head romaine lettuce
washed and cut 1/2-inch strips
1 whole avocado
1 tbsp cilantro
We were impressed with the rich flavor of this salad when we first tasted it, so we were delighted when we were able to recreate it at home. The prep for this salad can be pretty involved since you need to prepare dressing and wash and chop all the vegetables, but it is totally worth it. It takes one of us about an hour to prep everything if working alone. This recipe yields a meal-sized salad for 4 and can be made vegan by excluding the chicken. Mom Oguro loves this salad! Adapted from the Border Grill in Los Angeles. Recipe courtesy of the LA Weekly blog.
If using frozen corn kernels, defrost the needed amount in the fridge overnight.
Roast the poblano chile, either over an open flame or at 500°F for 30-40 minutes. Be sure to turn twice during roasting. Tightly cover with foil and rest for about 30 minutes, then peel and dice.
For the dressing, toast the cumin seeds in a small skillet over medium heat for 1-2 minutes. Shake frequently so the seeds don’t burn.
Transfer toasted cumin seeds to a magic bullet or equivalent with the olive oil, red wine vinegar, honey, salt and pepper. Purée until smooth.
Cut the corn tortillas into strips and deep fry. Rest over paper towel to drain.
The corn kernels, poblano chile, chicken, chickpeas, apple, red onion, and tomato can be prepped and combined in a large bowl advance.
Add the tortilla strips, lettuce, avocado, and cilantro to the salad close to serving time. Add cumin dressing to taste and gently toss to combine.
source: Border Grill via Jessica Oguro
Since this recipe requires a great deal of prep work, consider eating it 2 days in a row if you are a household of 2. On day 1, prep all the salad ingredients. Reserve half of the vegetables except the avocado, tortilla strips, and half of the dressing. On day 2, slice a new avocado and combine all the ingredients. If preparing this recipe in advance, toss some lemon over the apple and avocado to minimize discoloration. Don't panic if the poblano chile looks black when it comes out of the oven. The charred skin protects the flesh and will give it a smoky flavor. The recipe can be made vegan by excluding the chicken. For extra credit, add toasted pine nuts.