Layered Taco Salad

layered taco salad

I love Mexican food and there is no other words to describe this salad but fantastic!  The salad part is just like any other salad with lettuce, tomato, olives, cheese, and avocado.  The stars of this main dish are the meat and the dressing so don’t change a thing when you make this because they are perfect as they are.  This is an easy to prepare so you will win all around.  The most time-consuming is chopping the onions, peppers, lettuce, tomatoes and cilantro.   It does make a lot.  I mean that I served 10 people and had 2 servings as leftovers.  The leftovers are still good the next day if you don’t add the dressing to the top.  I do like it with some heat so I put really  hot jalapeno peppers with seeds and all in there.  You adjust the heat to your taste.  I love serving this with some crunchy tortilla chips and homemade Pico de gallo.  Yummy!   Make this for your next get together,  serve it on your deck or patio or take it to  your friends to enjoy.  They will thank you!

This came from one of my most favorite magazines of all time Gourmet.  I hope that you enjoy it as much as my family and friends have for the last month.  I have made it four times!

Layered Taco Salad from Gourmet 2003

Yield:  10 servings

 For dressing

  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup olive oil

For beef

  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 to 2 fresh serrano chiles (including seeds), finely chopped ( I used jalapeno)
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 lb ground chuck
  • 1 (8-oz) can tomato sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

For Salad

  • 1 (1/2-lb) firm-ripe California avocado  I used 2 avocados
  • 1 head iceberg lettuce, thinly sliced (8 cups)    I used Romaine
  • 1 large tomato (1/2 lb), chopped
  • 1/4 lb coarsely grated extra-sharp Cheddar (1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 (15- to 19-oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (6-oz) can sliced pitted California black olives, drained
  • Accompaniment: tortilla chips

Preparation

Make dressing:

Whisk together lime juice, cilantro, sugar, chili powder, cumin, salt, and pepper, then add oil .  Shake until  mixed well.

 

Cook beef:

  1. Cook beef, stirring occasionally and breaking up lumps, until meat is no longer pink, about 5 minutes.  Drain on paper towel.
  2. Cook onion, garlic, chiles to taste, chili powder, and cumin in oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until onion is well softened, about 6 minutes. Add drained beef, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add tomato sauce, salt, and pepper to beef and cook, stirring, until slightly thickened, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat.

Assemble salad:

  1. Peel and pit avocado, then cut into 1/2-inch pieces.
  2. Spread lettuce over bottom of a shallow 4-quart dish.
  3. Spoon beef mixture evenly over lettuce and continue making layers with tomatoes, cheese, beans, avocado, and olives. Drizzle dressing over salad.

NOTES:  I served the meat and salad dressing separately. I wanted the meat to be warm and the leftover salad to be crisp! 

Enjoy!

 

 

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