Not that you'd know it right now this minute, but the weather has been quite salady of late. Sunny, longer evenings, quite warm. All things that make a woman feel like eating sprightly vegetables with zingy dressings. Which is good, because it means something to send Deb for her Souper (soup, salad & sammy) Sunday roundup.
My two favourite salads in the world are the lettuce and herb salad at Hawksmoor and the Sonora salad from Wahaca. The Sonora salad is a delicious crisp taco bowl filled with a changing but always delicious array of grains, seeds, leaves and avocado, tossed in a delicious dressing and topped with a protein. I always get it with grilled steak strips.
The Hawksmoor salad is unimaginably delicious, but definitely a side dish, so I decided to have a look at ways of making something akin to the Sonora salad. It didn't take long for me to recognise that deep-frying my own taco bowl was not really an option, but it turns out that a baked bowl is almost as delicious and considerably easier.
What I did was take the labels off a couple of cans (one ex-chickpea, one ex-tomato) and run them through the dishwasher. Then I brushed one side of each large flour tortilla with a little pork dripping leftover from a roast (obviously not everyone has such a thing, so oil is the other possibility) and draped them, greased side up, over the cans, and pressed down a little to give them a basket shape. I baked them at 180C for about 10 minutes, watching like a hawk, until they looked toasty and brown and felt crisp.
I was sort of expecting them to open out a bit as they baked, but they didn't, so make sure you don't press down on them too much or you won't have room for your salad.
I filled the bowls with a layer of refried beans, then a big pile of leaves, avocado cubes, sliced red onion and tomatoes, dressed in a vinaigrette flavoured with a little mayonnaise and chipotle paste. Then I scattered on some pumpkin seeds and topped each bowl with a lightly fried tuna steak. I have been encouraged to make this meal again.