Vegetarian Mexican Salad (or Cowboy Caviar Dip)

I’ve mentioned before that we moved into a new house last summer. Overall, I love everything inch of the new place – the location, the size, the interior, the exterior. I do, however, have one major complaint, and that is the lack of a sunny spot for a proper vegetable garden!Over the years I’ve grown accustomed to having a bumper crop of tomatoes and zucchini year after year, and at this house, that just isn’t happening. 🙁

Thankfully, the farmer’s market has my back! Of course, I always go overboard, and thus this salad/dip was born.Salsa Fresca that is great as a salad, or a dip (cowbow caviar)! #mexican #tomatoes #zucchini #corn #blackbeans #jalapeno #onions

Our last run to the farmer’s market was a real monster – zucchini, cilantro, tomatoes, corn, jalapenos, bell peppers, red onions, carrots, plums…. the list goes on. After a few days some of the veggies were no longer at their peak freshness, and I knew I needed to act if I wanted to use them to their full potential.  After reviewing my ingredients, something Mexican-inspired seemed like a no brainer.

So, I chopped up my veggies, made a vinaigrette, and ate it two ways — first, as a dip with tortilla chips, somewhere between salsa fresca and cowboy caviar. Then, after it had marinated for awhile, I made a bed of chopped lettuce, and topped it with the dressed veggies, along with some sour cream, cheese, and diced avocado for a lovely taco-salad style dinner. Two amazing dishes in one!

The quantities in this recipe are definitely fluid – you may find that you want to double or triple the dressing recipe depending upon the size of your veggies. I would start by making the base recipe, tossing your veggies with it, and going from there.

This is such a lovely summer supper AND appetizer. I’m in love, and hope you will be too!

Vegetarian Mexican Salad (or Cowboy Caviar Dip)

Vegetarian Mexican Salad (or Cowboy Caviar Dip)

Ingredients

    Dressing
  • 1/2 cup lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    Salad
  • 3 zucchini, diced
  • 4 large tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 bell peppers, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, diced
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1 cup sweet corn
  • 1 cup black beans
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro

Instructions

  • Combine dressing ingredients and mix or shake until well blended. Chop vegetables. Mix dressing and vegetables until well coated.
  • Serve as a salad over lettuce, and dress with sour cream and cheese. Serve as a dip with tortilla chips.
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