Cinco de Mayo Gourmet Mexican Salad Platter
Whether you are looking for one appetizer dish everyone can dig into or a main dish everyone can share with some bread or tortillas on the side, this one ticks all the boxes. Boasting a corn chip and salad leaf base, and topped with all kinds of goodies from chipotle-lime chicken to black beans, red onion, olives, avocado, cherry tomatoes, and anything else you spot in the refrigerator and want to add, this is a colorful salad which is appealing to the eye and also packed with nutritional value. You can prepare the dressing ahead and assemble this salad in just 15 minutes.
One reason we are suggesting this for your Cinco de Mayo party is how easy it is to prepare. You can prepare the dressing and the salad ahead. Just keep them separate and refrigerated, then you can concentrate on welcoming all your guests and ensuring the drinks are flowing and the music is playing. When everyone is starting to get hungry, you can bring this platter of goodies to the table, give everyone a plate and some cutlery and let them get on with it, helping themselves to whatever on the platter happens to catch their eye.
There is something for everyone here, even the kids. The dressing is especially good and is a blend of buttermilk, Greek yogurt and mayonnaise, along with tomatillo, garlic, green onion, jalapeño, cilantro, lime, and cumin. Simply throw all these ingredients into your food processor with a little salt and black pepper for good measure, and press the button. Your dressing will be ready to serve immediately or you can refrigerate it in a covered container for up to 3 days. The flavor is perfect – a combination of creamy, spicy, aromatic, and typically Mexican.
Get creative with this salad. The ingredients we have listed are simply suggestions, so if you want to swap out some ingredients for others, go right ahead. Maybe you prefer kidney beans to black beans, or tortilla chips to corn chips. The same applies to the dressing. Perhaps you have another Mexican salad dressing recipe you prefer, so just use that. Or you could offer lime wedges, some good-quality extra-virgin olive oil and maybe red wine vinegar at the table in case some people want to add that to their own serving instead. Hopefully the weather is warm where you are, making this gourmet Mexican salad platter even more appealing.
- 1 lb cooked chicken breast
- Chipotle chili powder, to taste
- ½ tablespoon fresh lime juice
- Salt, to taste
- 1 large bunch shredded salad leaves
- 1 diced bell pepper (any color)
- 15 oz can black beans
- ½ chopped red onion
- 3 oz pitted black olives
- 3 oz pitted green olives
- 6 oz corn chips
- 1 diced seedless cucumber
- 2 cups halved cherry tomatoes
- 1 diced Hass avocado
- Sliced raw or pickled tomatillo, mixed nuts, sundried tomatoes, cubed cheese and/or shaved raw carrot (optional)
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1 chopped tomatillo, husks removed
- 2 garlic cloves
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro
- 1 chopped bunch green onions
- 2 tablespoons Greek yogurt
- ¼ cup buttermilk
- 1 seeded, small jalapeño
- Juice of ½ lime
- ¼ teaspoon cumin
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Put all the salad dressing ingredients in a food processor to combine.
- If you like, you can prepare this dressing up to 3 days ahead and give it a stir before serving.
- Chop the chicken and toss it with the chipotle, lime juice and a little salt.
- Drain and rinse the black beans.
- Arrange the salad leaves, bell pepper, black beans, red onion, olives, corn chips, cucumber, tomatoes and avocado on a platter.
- Add the chicken and any of the optional ingredients you wish to include.
- Serve immediately with the dressing on the side or cover and refrigerate for up to several hours.
You can see how colorful and appetizing this Cinco de Mayo gourmet salad platter looks, and it is ideal because the dressing can be made up to 3 days in advance and the salad itself is so easy to prepare. Simply arrange your chosen ingredients on a chilled platter and set it down as your centerpiece. This recipe serves 6 as a main course or perhaps 12 to 15 if it is one of several potluck dishes. Feel free to add anything you want to the salad including chilies, tortilla chips, hard-boiled egg, Mexican cheeses or anything else you have. That is one of the joys of salad-making – pretty much anything goes.
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