Beef Taco Salad with Chunky Tomato Dressing
There's nothing dainty about this salad. With mounds of chilli-spiced beef and sharp cheddar cheese over a bed of crisp greens, all doused with a chunky tomato lime dressing and topped with a shards of corn chips, it has high-impact flavor and heartiness to satisfy even the biggest appetites.
- 3/4 pound minced beef (90 percent lean or higher)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 (15.5-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 tablespoon chilli powder
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, plus more to taste
- 1/3 cup water
- For the Dressing:
- 4 medium tomatoes, diced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- For the Salad:
- 2 hearts cos lettuce, chopped
- 1/2 cup grated Cheddar
- 2 ounces baked corn tortilla chips (about 32 chips)
To prepare the meat, heat a large skillet over a medium-high heat. Add the beef and cook until no longer pink, stirring occasionally and breaking the meat up with the spoon. Add the garlic and beans and cook for 2 minutes more. Add the chili powder, cayenne and water and stir until well combined and some but not all of the liquid has been absorbed. Remove from the heat and allow the mixture to cool slightly. Meat mixture may be made up to 3 days ahead and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
To make the tomato dressing, in a medium bowl, combine tomatoes (with their juices), oil, lime juice, salt and pepper. Dressing may be prepared up to 2 days ahead and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Place 2 cups of lettuce on each plate or in a lunch container. Top each serving with 1 cup of the beef mixture then sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of cheese. If making to-go, pack 3/4 cup of the tomato mixture in a separate sealable container and put about 8 chips in a separate bag. Right before eating, pour a portion of the tomato mixture with the liquid on top of each salad, and crush tortilla chips on top.