Chopped Mexican Salad with Pepitas & Honey-Chipotle Dressing is a delicious, hearty main course salad, that is truly a festival of fresh Mexican flavors! It’s perfect for a summer picnic, on a buffet table, or along side tacos or burritos. Our Mexican food fest continues. This Mexican salad with pepitas will be the perfect accompaniment to the Smoky Chipotle Nachos and other richer dishes we’ll be serving at my husband’s little birthday soirée this weekend.
With food, little details can make a big difference, and it’s often a matter of preference.
For example, I think ice-cream tastes better out of the carton than in a bowl. Certain drinks are better with a straw, and there’s no arguing that rice that sticks to the sides of the pan really is better than the rest.
Finally, chopping your salad ingredients, all approximately the same size, makes for a very different salad. Just ask my friend Billy. He’s a chopped salad connoisseur. Really!
He says, “Everything should fit on the fork.
A little bit of every single ingredient at once — that’s the beauty of it.” (Billy requests that all his salads be chopped at restaurants — even if they aren’t meant to be. I love it!)
And I must say, this dressing might be the best I’ve ever created. You’ve probably noticed by now how much I love smoky, spicy, sweet combinations! And that’s always a hit when it comes to Mexican flavors.
Enjoy every last bite of this scrumptious Mexican salad with pepitas!
Chopped Mexican Salad with Pepitas & Honey-Chipotle Dressing is a delicious, hearty main course salad, that is truly a festival of fresh Mexican flavors!
- 1/2 cup raw pepitas (pumpkin seeds), hulled
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons honey
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 to 2 pinches cayenne
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 4 cups packed arugula or mixed baby greens (or a combination of both), roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup cilantro, washed and dried, finely chopped
- 1 1/2 cups jicama, chopped
- 1 1/2 cups tomato, seeds removed, chopped
- 1 1/2 cups avocado, chopped
- 1 cup roasted poblano peppers (click here for how to roast them here), peeled, seeded, chopped
- 1/2 cup red onion, chopped
- 1/2 cup Manchego cheese, grated
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and line a baking sheet with foil. In a small mixing bowl, combine the pepitas with the oil and honey. Once they are well-coated, add the spices and salt and stir to blend. Spread the pepitas on the foil-lined baking sheet and roast them in the preheated oven until they begin to brown and are very aromatic, about 5 minutes. Set aside.
In a small mixing bowl, combine the lime juice with the chiptoles, honey, cumin, and salt. Gradually whisk in the oil and set aside.
In a large mixing or serving bowl, combine all of the ingredients except the cheese. Just before serving, add the cheese, spiced pepitas and the dressing. Toss to combine.
The dressing recipe here may make a bit more than you'll need -- dress the salad to your taste.
My favorite way to make salad dressing is in a jar. Simply add all of the ingredients at once, put the lid on, and shake!
The pepitas are great mixed in, but I also save a small handful to sprinkle on top. They're nice just to have on hand, too -- they make a delicious snack! (So whatever you do, do not throw away your pumpkin seeds this Halloween!)
I love using arugula -- it has a sharp peppery flavor!