Mexican Salad: Mesclun, Rice and Black Beans With Chile Ancho Dressing
- 1 medium/big chile ancho lightly toasted
- 2 garlic cloves roasted
- 1 teaspoon dried marjoram
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons agave syrup
- 1/4 cup white wine vinegar or champagne vinegar
- 3/4 cup mild tasting oil (avocado, safflower )
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 5 to 6 handfuls mesclun
- 1/4 toasted sunflower seeds
- 1 cup cooked brown rice
- 1 cup cooked black beans
- 1 cup sliced mushrooms
- 1 diced and seeded roma tomato
- 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
- To prepare the dressing, simply mix all ingredients in a blender. Let it run for two to three minutes so the chile ancho can integrate well in the mixture.
- Check for seasoning and add more salt if you feel it needs more. Let it sit for a while to allow the flavors to marry between each other.
- For the salad, mix all the ingredients in a big bowl. Toss carefully so the beans do not get mushy. Add the dressing, mix again and serve. Top each plate with some diced tomatoes and chopped cilantro.
If you want your dressing to be spicier, leave all the seeds when blending; if you want it on milder side, remove them.
A tasty variation of the salad would be one with dried or fried plantain chips or tortilla strips, diced avocado, and/or grilled corn.
One of the basic ingredients of Mexican food are chilis—mostly every savory dish has a spicy note in it. I find there is a hidden pleasure to the feeling of having your mouth on fire because of chili. You can find fresh or dried chilis, whole or grounded chiles, spicy or not spicy.
I don’t know exactly how many types there are, but I know for sure that chile ancho is one of the most used chiles in Mexico’s gastronomy. You find it in mole sauce, in sops, in enchilada sauce, etc.
It has a mild spiciness and smoky flavor that makes it a star in the country. A chile ancho is a dried poblano pepper, and poblano chilis are also widely used in Mexican cuisine. This salad has a chile ancho dressing drizzled over mesclun, brown rice, black beans, and uncooked mushrooms.
I love to top it with diced tomatoes, sunflower seeds, and chopped cilantro: It’s a true fiesta of flavors in your mouth. One of the best things of this recipe dressing is that it tastes good with anything, so feel free to drizzle it over your own salad recipe or whatever you have in the fridge that day.