Fiesta Salad and Vinaigrette

On March 22, 2012 by Kim

What says welcome spring like a fresh salad? When the weather starts warming up I start craving fresh, crisp greens and lighter foods. There is actually a reason for that – they’re in season! Ever notice that you tend to associate certain flavors with certain seasons? Ever notice that our bodies tend to crave what they need, and that seasonal produce tends to fulfill that need? For example, how convenient that citrus, full of vitamin C, is in the peak of production during cold and flu season? I know it is tempting to want to eat what we want when we want it, but there is something special about waiting to bite into that first locally grown strawberry. Or waiting until the heat of summer to slurp up some juicy watermelon. Food most certainly tastes better at the height of the growing season. If you haven’t noticed already, we try to base our Whole Foods menus on seasonal produce. Here is another great recipe to add to your seasonal rotation.

Fresh, crispy greens are now in season!

Fresh, crispy greens are now in season!

I know salad is not exactly freezer friendly, but this is one of our favorite family recipes, and I had to share it with you in honor of the first day of spring. Don’t worry. This is a 15-30 minute meal even without advance preparation. However there are ways to simplify. You can cook your chicken, beans, and corn (if you’re buying fresh) ahead of time and freeze them. You can even shred up your cheese and freeze it too. Then all you have to do is thaw them on serving day and chop up your fresh produce. The homemade dressing is a cinch. {Note: Forgive the missing avocado in my pictures. It was somehow misplaced when I unoaded my groceries. So sad! They were sorely missed.}

Fiesta Salad and Vinaigrette

I like to serve it in a dish like this so everyone can make their own salad.

I like to serve it in a dish like this so everyone can make their own salad.



Kim @

Salad Ingredients:

1 large head of Romaine Lettuce, washed, dried, and torn

2 cups cooked Black Beans (or canned)

1 cup Frozen Corn, thawed (or fresh if in season!)

1 cup Chopped, Cooked Chicken (optional)

1 cup Shredded Pepper Jack Cheese

1 cup Cherry Tomatoes, halved

1 Avocado, peeled and diced

.25 cup Fresh Cilantro, roughly chopped

Vinaigrette Ingredients:

1/4 cup White Wine Vinegar

1 tablespoon Dijon Mustard

.25 cup chopped Scallions (about 3 stalks)

Pinch of Sugar

Coarse Salt, to taste

Fresh Ground Pepper, to taste

.5 teaspoon Chili Powder

.25 teaspoon Cumin

.75 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil


In a large salad bowl, gently toss all salad ingredients together (or set out in serving dish as pictured above). In a small bowl combine all vinaigrette ingredients except the olive oil and stir to combine. Slowly add oil, whisking to emulsify. (You can also pour all of the ingredients into a jar with a lid and shake it. You can just store the extras right in the jar.) Pour dressing over the salad and toss gently to combine. Note: If you prefer you can divide the ingredients evenly and layer in individual salad bowls. Then top with dressing.

Freezing Directions:

Chicken, beans, corn, and cheese can be cooked and frozen ahead of time if desired. Dressing can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Servings: 3


Join the discussion
  1. Thank you so much for sharing your great recipe with Full Plate Thursday. Hope you are having a great Spring week end and come back to see me real soon!
    Miz Helen

  2. Congratulations!
    Your recipe is featured on Full Plate Thursday this week. Hope you have an awesome week end and enjoy your new Red Plate!
    Come Back Soon,
    Miz Helen

  3. This looks really pretty and sounds really good. Adding to the file to try.
    By the way did you ever find out what happened to the missing avacodo?

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