Mexican Christmas Salad with a Hot Twist

This Mexican Christmas salad recipe is traditional in both Old and New Mexico, although we are adding a twist with the charred lettuce wedge. Although romaine (known as cos lettuce in some places) really comes to life on a grill, the delicate leaves do not always stand up to the temperature needed by the rest of the food on the grill, and nobody wants a wilted mess on their plate.

Thanks to the blowtorch you can control how much heat you use and where it is directed. Besides, who wants to stand outside shivering over the grill on Christmas day, knee-deep in snow? Er, no thanks!

How Mexican Christmas Salad is Prepared

In this Mexican Christmas salad recipe, romaine hearts are coated in extra-virgin olive oil and parmesan and then scorched until the cheese browns. You can scorch the lettuce as little or as much as you wish, although we suggest using a blowtorch until the parmesan flakes have melted and you can see golden brown patches on the romaine.

So when is this Mexican Christmas salad good for? Well you could serve this as an appetizer on Christmas Day or save it until Boxing Day when your belly is begging you for a lighter lunch after all those heavy holiday dinners. I know that feeling! Basically, this Mexican Christmas salad is tasty, nutritious, well balanced and really worth making, so give it a go!

Mexican Christmas Salad with a Hot Twist
This unusual salad teams avocado, charred Romaine, citrus, pine nuts and more, to make a fantastic appetizer for Christmas day or any other time you are out to impress with an amazing appetizer!
Author:
Cuisine: Mexican
Recipe type: Salad
Serves: 4
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 7 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 seeded, minced jalapeño chili
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 pink grapefruits
  • 4 navel oranges
  • 3 peeled, sliced avocados
  • 1 thinly sliced small red onion
  • ¼ cup (35g) toasted pine nuts
  • 4 Romaine lettuce hearts
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, as needed
  • 3 oz (100g) crumbled goat cheese or parmesan flakes
Instructions
  1. Mix the mustard and lemon juice, then whisk in the oil gradually.
  2. Stir in the rosemary and chili, and season with salt and black pepper.
  3. Remove the zest and pith from the grapefruit and orange, then slice the orange into rounds.
  4. Cut the grapefruit lengthwise in half then slice it crosswise into rounds.
  5. Coat the romaine hearts with extra-virgin olive oil and scatter the cheese over them.
  6. Use a blowtorch to char the romaine in places and melt the cheese.
  7. If you don't have a blowtorch just leave this step out.
  8. Put a romaine heart on each of 4 plates, then divide the orange and grapefruit slices between the plates.
  9. Add the avocado and nuts, followed by the onions.
  10. Drizzle the dressing on top and serve right away.
Notes
Make any changes to this you want and if you don't have a blowtorch, don't worry! Just make the salad without it (or char the romaine under the broiler) and it will be yummy.

Photo by Tracy Benjamin, at Flickr

Best kitchen blowtorchBest Kitchen Blowtorch for Cooking

This blowtorch is going to add a whole new element to your cooking. You can use it on everything from cheese to romaine, marshmallows, chocolate… anything that needs a quick char or melt. Try it on creme brulee instead of having the broiler on for ages, or use it to char your peppers, veggies, cheese or other ingredients. Of course it’s also handy for making our Mexican Christmas salad recipe.

Blowtorches are great in the kitchen because whenever you need to quickly cook or char something you can do it in an instant with this super-handy device. The best kitchen blowtorch will help you master anything from creme brulee to cheese on toast, French onion soup (with those yummy Gruyere croutons) or charred Romaine or another leafy vegetable, to desserts.

Best Blowtorch for Cooking, on Amazon

How to Use It

If you want to melt chocolate in a hurry grab a blowtorch. If you want to char marshmallows, again grab a blowtorch. If you’re into kitchen gadgets, you want one. If you are making Mexican Christmas salad, get one. Do you like to cook? You need one! This handy gadget is incredibly versatile and you will find plenty of recipes you can use it on. Also, get creative, charring everything from your salad vegetables to your cheese, chocolate and marshmallows, and you will discover a brand new culinary process you can use to impress literally everyone you know.

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