Believe me when I say this Spicy Lime and Avocado Vinaigrette will change your life. The recipe comes from Jimmy Shaw of Loteria, and he generously shared it with Bon Appétit last September. I made this salad to take to a neighbor’s barbecue (it is an undisputed fact that our neighbor Chris grills the best carne asada in town—any town) and promised to share the recipe. Don’t get scared by the number of ingredients. It all comes together pretty quickly (especially if you use cayenne for pepitas instead of toasting & grinding peppers), but warning: this salad disappears just as fast.
SPICY LIME & AVOCADO VINAIGRETTE
9 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup diced peeled seeded avocado
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 cup unsalted shelled raw pumpkin seeds (pepitas), toasted
3 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
1 garlic clove
3/4 teaspoon minced seeded serrano chile
To make vinaigrette, combine all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth.
4 dried chiles de árbol, stemmed or 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 cup unsalted shelled raw pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
Finely grind chiles in small spice mill or in mortar with pestle. Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add pumpkin seeds and stir until evenly toasted (seeds will pop), about 5 minutes. Sprinkle evenly with sugar, salt, and 1/2 teaspoon chile de árbol powder. Toss to coat. Transfer pumpkin seeds to bowl and cool.
1 5-ounce package mixed baby greens
2 avocados, halved, seeded, peeled, sliced
1 12-ounce container cherry tomatoes, halved
1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded, diced
1 medium jicama, peeled, cut into 1/3-inch-thick slices, then 1/3-inch sticks
1/2 medium red onion, very thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups coarsely crumbled cotija cheese or feta cheese (about 7 ounces)
To assemble salad, place greens in very large bowl. Add avocados, tomatoes, cucumber, jicama, and onion. Toss with enough vinaigrette to coat. Sprinkle with cheese and spicy pepitas.