Chipotle-Charred Vegetable Salad

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So this salad is beautiful, there’s absolutely no doubt about that.  I also have been making a version of something like this literally every single day for lunch for the past… oh about two weeks.  Of course the version that I make for my lunches isn’t quite as artistic and well-styled as the one in these pictures, but the taste is so good that I don’t think I could ever get sick of it.  It is a perfect summer party salad, packed full of fresh, juicy, charred vegetables and topped with a homemade chipotle dressing that has a little kick to it.

I made a big batch of this salad to serve at a party last weekend and every last bite was gone by the end of the night.  Even the non-vegetarians couldn’t get enough!

The key to this recipe is actually pretty much everything that is in in:  good spices, sweet corn straight from the husk, the freshest, juiciest peppers that you can find, ripe avocado, and chipotles in adobo sauce.  These are absolutely necessary, but be careful with the quantity you use because they are mighty hot.

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Can I also just note really quick how excited I am that it is finally time for fresh sweet corn again?!  I can’t wait for the local Minnesota stuff to be ready in a month or so.   I remember one summer (when I was a lot younger) I worked at a farmer’s market stand that specialized in sweet corn.  They taught me there that sweet corn should be eaten straight up RAW…  if it is good stuff, there is literally no other way that you can justify eating it.

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What will you need?

1 large head of lettuce, chopped

1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced

1/2 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped

1 red bell pepper

1 green bell pepper

1 poblano pepper

1 large, ripe avocado

2 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp chili powder

1 tsp fennel seeds

Salt, pepper

1/2 lime

For the dressing:

2 tbsp chipotle in adobo sauce

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 cup rice wine vinegar

1/2 lime

1 small clove garlic

1 tsp brown sugar

How do you make it?

Finely chop up all of your peppers into nice, bite-sized pieces.\

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Take your sweet corn, remove the husks and slice off all of the juicy kernals.  Pop a few of them in your mouth while you’re at it :)

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Put all of your vegetables in a bowl.  Add the chili powder and fennel seeds and squeeze the juice from your lime over the top.

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In a large skillet, heat the olive oil and add in your vegetables.  Sprinkle with a little more chili powder, salt, pepper and sautee on high heat for about 5 minutes.  I like to cook the vegetables until they get nice and charred – it makes me feel like this salad was made on the grill!

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Once the vegetables have reduced in size and are nice and tender, they are ready for action.

Meanwhile, whiz up your homemade dressing by combining all of the ingredients in a small food processor and pulsing.  Reserve on the side in a small jar.

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In a large bowl, combine your chopped lettuce, red onion and cilantro.  Toss lightly to combine and add to your plate.

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Put a heaping scoop of your hot, charred vegetables on top.

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Add a few slices of creamy avocado to cool it down a bit.

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And drizzle the spicy dressing over the top.

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Yes, my friends. You just made this.

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And now you’re about to eat it.

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  1. this looks freakin great! Too bad my tongue is a wimp and can’t handle much heat. I might still make it for my husband though, he loves spicy / make your eyes water heat.

    • Hahaha I’m a huge wimp, too. I was definitely feelin’ the heat with this one. Have you ever tried chipotles in adobo sauce? If your husband likes spice, they’ll be right up his alley!

    • I haven’t, have been too scared :P Are they in a jar? Hispanic / ethnic food section of supermarkets?

  2. This looks delicious! I love southwestern-inspired salads. I didn’t know you should eat sweet corn raw – thanks for sharing!

  3. This sounds absolutely amazing!! I love leaving my veggies extra long in the skillet too so it feels like they have that grilled char on them!! :) Pinning!

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