Grilled Salad with Mexican Vegetables
Mexican food is as popular as ever and many cooks are trying their hand at some of the recipes from out of our southern neighbor’s culinary repertoire. Mexican cuisine is full of grilled dishes and just because you are making a salad does not mean that there is not a place for the grill in the recipe!
Grilled vegetables are a great way to liven up any salad – and this is an exciting salad indeed, with grilled tomatoes, red onion and tatume (a Mexican variety of zucchini with a heartier, somewhat nutty taste – but you can easily substitute regular zucchini if you do not have a Mexican market near you). With still warm grilled vegetables on a bed of cool mixed greens and topped with grated cotija cheese or crumbled queso fresco, this is a salad, which everyone at your table will be reaching for seconds of.
Tatume is found in Mexico and also in some parts of Texas, so if you are lucky enough to spot this vegetable, grab it, and you will be able to make this Mexican grilled salad. If not, just use zucchini but keep your eyes peeled for tatume in future so you can try it. This salad is ideal for a warm summer day, or any time you are looking for something a little bit different which will go very nicely with chicken or fish, or whatever else you are making. Perhaps you are making a Mexican steak recipe, marinating flank or skirt steak in lime juice overnight before cooking it on the grill. This salad would make a wonderful accompaniment to such a dish, especially if you also serve Mexican rice on the side.
- 1 large or 2 small tatume (or zucchini, if tatume is not available)
- 2-3 large tomatoes
- 1 large or 2 small red onions
- mixed greens
- ½ cup grated cotija (a salty Mexican cheese similar to Romano) or crumbled queso fresco (mild, soft cheese) - Romano or farmer’s cheese may be substituted
- The dressing on this salad is up to you, but the Mexican style would be to dress it simply with a little lime juice, olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper.
- The grilled vegetables are the key to this delectable salad however, so get the grill going first. Chop your tatume (or zucchini) into diagonal slices about ¼ inch thick and cut your tomatoes into thick wedges.
- The onion should be cut into relatively thick rings (thin ones will tend to "collapse" and fall into the grill). Brush all of these with olive oil and grill for 3-5 minutes per side, or until just beginning to char. Remember to turn the onions very carefully so you do not lose any.
- Once your vegetables are finished, bring them in and assemble your salad. Fill your salad bowl ⅔ full of mixed greens, then arrange the grilled vegetables on top (separate the onion rings so that there is more to go around) before topping with cheese.
- Alternately, you can make individual salads on each diner’s plate for a more pleasing presentation - but with a salad this delicious, it is likely that people will eat it all before they even have a second look!
A picture of a our Grilled Salad with Mexican Vegetables featuring the added taste of grilled onions, zucchini, and tomatoes. This salad delivers a wonderful South of the Border treat to your dinner table fit to go with any other Mexican cuisine you wish, maybe some grilled fajitas, or a grilled quesadilla even.
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