A complex, rich and delicious salad that needs nothing more to make a perfect meal. Impossible to get this one wrong.
- 1 Cup dried pinto or pink beans, rinse and drain beans
- 3 Cups water
- 1 medium onion; chopped
- 1 small dried red pepper; crushed
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil or salad oil
- 3 Cups shredded cooked chicken or turkey
- red leaf lettuce
- sour cream; for garnish
- 1 Cup shredded Cheddar cheese
- tortilla chips and radish roses; for garnish
- green chile salsa
- New Mexico Guacamole:
- 2 soft-ripe avocados; * see note
- 1 Tablespoon lime juice
- 1/4 Cup finely chopped red onion
- 1 small tomato; seeded and chopped
- 2 Tablespoons chopped cilantro or parsley
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 dash hot pepper sauce
- 1 dash seasoned pepper
- To prepare salad, bring beans and the water to a boil in a 2-quart saucepan; boil briskly for 2 minutes; then remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 1 hour. Add onion, pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt. Bring to a boil, cover; reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until beans are tender and liquid is absorbed (about 2 1/2 hours). Let stand until lukewarm. Combine lemon juice, olive oil, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt; mix lightly with chicken.
- To prepare New Mexico Guacamole, mash with lime juice until mixture is soft but still chunky. Lightly mix in onion, tomato, cilantro, salt, hot-pepper sauce, and pepper.
Salad Yield: 4 servings. Guacamole Yield: 2 cups.
To serve, line each of 4 plates generously with red leaf lettuce. Spread a fourth of the beans in center of each plate; cover each portion with 3/4 cup of the chicken mixture, a fourth of the New Mexico Guacamole, a dollop of sour cream, and 1/4 cup of the cheese. Garnish each serving generously with tortilla chips, add a few radish roses, and offer salsa to add to taste.