There is something about Corn in a salad that always makes me smile – it’s a little like having Sunshine on a plate. This is by no means a traditional Mexican salad but it has enough of the basic ingredients and spices so I think it qualifies. The rest is pretty much what I had in the fridge at the time and it’s amazing how fresh ingredients work really well together so you don’t end up having to throw veges out after being in the fridge too long.
Use your imagination, get inspiration from the fresh produce lining the supermarket aisles, it’s also cheaper using seasonal ingredients, so this (or various versions of this) has become one of my all-time Summer fave’s. Served warm or cold, both are equally good.
2 firm ripe tomatoes
half a cucumber
1 red pepper (capsicum)
1 cup corn (frozen will do or use 2 fresh ears of corn)
1 tin chickpeas
2 Tbsp oil
2 large chicken breasts or 4 deboned thighs
8 asparagus spears
Mexican seasoning (or make your own – see below)
- Wash and dice the tomatoes, cucumber and capsicum into similar sizes.
- Cook the frozen corn in the microwave or in a pot of boiling water on the stove for a minute or two. Drain and set aside.
- If using fresh ears of corn, either boil them until cooked or sear them whole on a hot plate. When cool enough to handle, carefully cut all corn off the husk and add the corn to the chopped veges.
- Drain the chickpeas well and add to the bowl.
- Dice the chicken and depending on how spicy you like your salad, sprinkle the chicken with the seasoning or coat liberally – up to you.
- Heat the oil in a skillet and gently fry the chicken until cooked through but not tough – that’s why I prefer to use thighs as they retain moisture better than breasts. Don’t let their darker colour put you off. Thighs are a darker meat than breasts and I think they are a lot more full of flavour!
- Drain the chicken on a little kitchen towel as you don’t want an oily salad and add to the bowl.
- Sear the asparagus in the same skillet in the juice from the chicken, or, if you prefer, steam or par-boil them, but please don’t overdo it as there is nothing worse than limp over cooked asparagus!
- Cut into 2 cm lengths, drain if necessary and add to the salad.
- No need for a dressing as the juices and flavours on the chicken and asparagus will coat the rest of the ingredients.
- Serve with a bowl of corn chips and a little sour cream if you like.
- Voila! or !ahí está! in Spanish (or so I’m told).
½ tsp each: sea salt, freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp each: chilli powder, garlic powder, onion powder (or dried fried onions)
1½ tsp each: crushed red pepper flakes, dried oregano, ground cumin
2 tsp: paprika
1 pinch each: ground cinnamon, ground cloves
- Mix all of the above together in a bowl and store in an airtight container away from direct light or heat.
- Use as needed.
- Add more or less chilli to suit your taste.