This salad is a nice change of pace from the usual tossed lettuce salad with ranch dressing. It’s similar to a salad I had last weekend at Rojo Mexican Bistro. I think avocado would be a great addition to this salad, the one I had on hand was past its prime, so had to skip that idea. The dressing has a little bit of a kick which I enjoyed, if you’re looking for mild flavor; decrease the amount of Dijon mustard in the dressing. I had the oven on when I was making the salad, so put a few drops of olive oil on my hands, rubbed the oil onto a hot red pepper and tossed it into a 425 degree F oven, directly onto the oven rack for 30 minutes, until the skin was blistered and darkened. Remove from oven; allow cooling for several minutes, then peeling off blistered skin, removing seeds from pepper and dice. The pepper I used has about half the heat of a jalapeno pepper but is twice its size. This added a bit of heat to the salad, so if you want to avoid heat, skip the pepper or use a bell pepper instead. You can also use roasted bell peppers that are already to go, often found in jars. I used green onions without pimento because I had them, green olives stuffed with pimento would work well too. You could serve this as a main course; I would bump up the amount of black beans and perhaps add a bit of grilled chicken.
4 cups chopped romaine lettuce
1 medium tomato, diced
½ cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
½ cup chopped green olives
½ chopped onion
1 small tart apple, diced with skin, about 2/3 cup
1 hot pepper, Anaheim or California chili pepper, roasted (see above)
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
Add all salad ingredients to large salad bowl. Add dressing ingredients to small mixing bowl, stir with fork until well mixed.
Toss over salad and enjoy. Karen