End of summer is almost here. I don’t know about you but I’m ready for fall! I love the produce of summer but the heat…eh, not so much. While corn and hatch chiles are still in season I wanted to take advantage and showcase them in something light and creamily delicious. This is the first recipe in the collection to feature hatch chiles. It was a perfect addition to the dressing giving it a nice mild pepper flavor that compliments all the other ingredients. This is a well-balanced, nutrient dense meal you can enjoy for lunch or dinner. Its cool, crisp and creamy…a perfect summer salad!
Fresh corn on the cobb is naturally sweet and delicious. I like to shuck it off the cobb and eat it as is, no need to heat or cook. It’s perfect just the way it is. If corn isn’t in season in your area you can use canned sweet corn instead.
Hatch chilies, New Mexico chile, are typically a mild pepper. Its notes of citrus pair perfectly with all the ingredients in this salad. To play it safe, taste your chili once cooked and see if it’s a fiery one. Some hatch chiles may be on the hotter side, its best to use caution. You may even like to start with one chile and add the second if your peppers are mild. If by chance you can’t find hatch chiles, use Anaheim or poblano chile peppers instead.
Cashews hold many health benefits. To make them blend into pure creaminess it helps to soak them for a bit. Cashews will benefit with 2 – 3 hours of soaking, even 1 hour is helpful. The soaking will help soften and plump them up making them blend easily. But have no fear, if you’re in a pinch and don’t have time to soak you’re cashew dressing will turn out just fine. I’ve made cashew creams/dressings plenty of times without soaking, you just may need to use a little extra water and blending time.
While the cashews are soaking, prepare your hatch chiles using the broiler in your oven. Once ready, it’s easy as can be to whip up this deliciously addicting dressing. You can top it on tacos, burritos and enchiladas. It’s perfect for all your tex-mex dishes. You could also easily turn this into a dip for tortilla chips or vegetables and use it as a spread for sandwiches. It’s absolutely delicious, you just may like to use it everywhere!Print
SOUTHWESTERN SALAD + HATCH CHILE CASHEW DRESSING
A colorful, well-rounded salad that’s cool, crisp and zesty!
- 1 can (15 oz) black beans, drained and rinsed or 1 1/2 cups cooked
- 1 corn off the cob
- handful grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
- 2 heads romaine lettuce, chopped
- 1 avocado, sliced
- lime wedges, to serve
- cilantro sprigs, to serve
- tortilla chips, chopped (optional)
Hatch Chile Cashew Dressing
- 1 cup raw cashews, soaked for 2 – 3 hours
- 1 – 2 hatch chiles (Anaheim or poblano ok too)
- 3 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- good pinch of salt
- juice of 1 lime
- 1/3 – 2/3 cup water
- 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
Soak your cashews in enough water to cover and have about 2 -3 inches of water over top. Cashews will swell up and need plenty of water to soak up. Let soak for 2 – 3 hours. Discard any that float as they may be rancid, drain water.
Turn your broiler on to medium or medium-high, place the hatch chiles on a baking sheet and set under the broiler. Times will vary depending on your oven so pay attention and check on them every few minutes. You will here them blister and crackle every now and then. Turn every few minutes to char evenly on all sides. Chiles will be ready when charred and softened. Mine took about 7 – 10 minutes. Let cool a few minutes. Remove the charred skin, make a slit lengthwise, core and remove the seeds (some seeds ok). Taste chiles to see if they are a hot or mild version. Use your discretion when adding to the dressing. Most likely they will be mild and you can add both.
Place the cashews, chiles, cumin, garlic, salt, lime juice and water (starting with the least amount) in a blender/food processor. Blend until creamy scrapping down the sides every now and then. Just before your done, add the cilantro and blend a bit more. Add more water as needed to create desired consistency.
Makes about 1 1/2 cups. Store leftover dressing in closed container in the refrigerator. Dressing will thicken upon chilling, thin with water if needed.
Chop your romaine lettuce, shuck the corn, slice tomatoes, drain and rinse the black beans and slice the avocado.
Place romaine lettuce in a large bowl, top with 1/2 of the black beans, corn, tomatoes and avocado. Add a nice helping of the dressing over top. Would also be great with a sprinkle crumbled tortilla chips or pepita’s (pumpkin seeds) for added crunch and texture. Add the juice of one lime over top if you like.
Salad serves 2. Dressing serves 4 – 6.
If you didn’t soak your cashews, you will most likely use the full 2/3 cup of water, possibly slightly more depending if this is a dip or dressing.