Baja salad from Baja California is a fresh and vibrant dish. After my niece introduced this to me, it has undoubtedly become a staple in our household. This salad contains numerous interesting tastes and textures which merge together to create a colorful explosion of flavor. Baja Med is a term that refers to fusion cuisine of Mexican, Mediterranean, and Asian cuisines.
There are various recipes online for this salad, the one I'm using is from chef Curtis Stone, made with succulent tomatoes, pickled red onions, crispy tortilla chips, and lime juice, it packs a zing and a crunch. Enjoy it as is or top it with braised or grilled pork, beef, or chicken for a more substantial meal. In this picture I have teamed the salad with a grilled breast of chicken. Check out https://youtu.be/i6kGPpr_ip0 for a short video tutorial.
Prep time: 30 mins
Serving: 6 ppl
2 cups coarsely torn romaine lettuce
1 1/2-2 cups shaved green cabbage
4 radishes, cut into matchstick-size strips
1 carrot, cut into matchstick-size strips
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
Pickled Red Onions
2 small avocados, halved, pitted, peeled, and cut into large chunks (about 2 cups)
1/2 cup coarsely crumbled Cotija cheese or feta cheese
2 tablespoons toasted shelled pumpkin seeds
About 1 1/2 cups plain Tortilla Chips, coarsely crumbled
To make the pickled onions:
1/3 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
1 cup small red boiling onions (about 30), peeled and halved, or 1 red onion, thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
1/4 cup packed fresh coriander leaves, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
Juice of 2 limes
2 tablespoons liquid from the Pickled Red Onions
1/4 cup olive oil
1. To make pickled onions:
If using small onions: In medium bowl, stir lime juice, vinegar, and 1 teaspoon kosher salt together. Heat medium saucepan of water to boiling on high. Add small onions; boil 1 minute or until just softened. With slotted spoon, transfer to bowl with lime juice mixture. Refrigerate for 40 mins at least.
If using sliced onion: In small bowl, combine sliced onion, lime juice, vinegar, and 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Cover; refrigerate at least 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Makes 3/4 cup.
Transfer to a jar; refrigerate (up to 2 weeks) until ready to use.
2. To make the dressing:
Into a jam bottle, add the minced garlic, lime juice, oil, chopped coriander and 2 Tbsps of liquid from the pickled onions. Seal the bottle and shake it vigorously till it emulsifies. Season with salt and pepper.
3. To finish the salad:
Just before serving, in a large wide bowl or on a platter, gently toss the romaine, cabbage, radishes, carrot, and tomatoes with enough dressing to coat. Drain the pickled onions and scatter them over the salad. Top with the diced avocados, Cotija/feta cheese, pumpkin seeds, and crumbled tortilla chips. Serve immediately.