This salad was inspired by my recent visit to California as it seems like every other person has a fruit tree in their backyard. Everything from grapes, grapefruit, lemons, avocados, oranges and the list goes on. I still remember the taste of fresh grown California figs from my uncles backyard: ginormous and sweet as honey!
I love combining fresh seasonal produce in the most simple ways but still keeping the true flavors of the produce and chopped salad is a terrific way to show off just that.
I’m a sucker for Mexican inspired flavors. Everything from beans, cilantro, corn, red onions and of course AVOCADOS, especially if combined all in one dish! I think the taste of fresh ingredients remind me of warmer days that are slowly approaching (fingers crossed to no more snow!) and chopped salad is a great way to pack colorful vegetables and fruit of different texture all in one bowl with any dressing of your choice. Each ingredient is delicious on its own but together they combine to give you something even better. Perfect as a side or served on a bed of fresh romaine lettuce. Possibilities are endless!
For this chopped salad I roasted corn and bell peppers to bring out the natural sweetness of both and to give them a nice golden color. I found out from personal experience, when roasting vegetables, you want to set your oven between 400°-425° F so the vegetables roast to golden brown on the outside but remain nice and soft on the inside.
Combining roasted vegetables with juicy tomatoes, sweet mango, fresh avocado, and black beans with a drizzle of tangy, sweet honey-lime-cilantro vinaigrette is absolute perfection. Or imagine this on a bed of crisp romaine lettuce? Double perfection!
- 2 red bell peppers, halved lengthwise, stem/seed core removed
- 1-1/2 cups frozen corn
- 2 large tomatoes, cored, seeded, and cut into ¼-inch dice
- 1 large mango, cut into ¼-inch dice
- 2 large avocados, peeled, pitted, and cut into ¼-inch dice
- 1 (15 oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed
- ¼ cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 small clove garlic
- 3 Tbsp. fresh lime juice (about 1 lime)
- 3 Tbsp. fresh orange juice (less than half of large orange)
- 2 tsp. finely chopped shallot (about ½ of small shallot)
- 1 Tbsp. honey
- 1 Tbsp. minced cilantro
- ⅛ cup extra-virgin olive oil + extra
- Salt & Pepper
- Preheat oven to 425F. Line a baking sheet with foil and put the pepper halves on the baking sheet, cut side down. Drizzle with olive oil and rub to coat the bell pepper skins evenly. Roast in the oven until peppers are soft and lightly browned, about 20 minutes.
- While the peppers are roasting, in a medium skillet over medium/high heat roast frozen corn in little bit of olive oil until slightly charred and golden, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and cool slightly.
- When the peppers are done roasting and cooled enough to handle, scrape away the skins and cut into ½-inch dice.
- Mash garlic to a paste with little bit of salt (about ¼ tsp.). In a small bowl, whisk the garlic paste with the lime and orange juices, shallot, honey, and cilantro. Slowly add the oil in a stream, whisking until well blended. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- In a large bowl mix bell peppers, corn, tomatoes, mango, avocados, and black beans. Add the vinaigrette to your taste and mix well. Sprinkle with fresh cilantro and chill for 30 minutes, covered, in the refrigerator. Serve as is or over a bed of fresh romaine.
© Little Broken. All images and content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission or claim my work as your own. Feel free to Pin, Tweet, Facebook and share away with a link back to the recipe post. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words and link back to this recipe.