Tortilla Salads

I am a list maker. Even if I am going to the grocery store for three obvious and memorable items, I find a scrap of paper and write them down. This keeps me (mostly) on script and on budget, but now and then I am mugged by a craving and if it’s not too expensive I will yield.

Last week, unexpectedly, my surprise, shopping craving was for the humble (yet incredibly versatile) corn tortilla. I could probably wax poetic for some length about the virtues of corn tortillas, but tonight I will trumpet just one virtue: an absurdly simple and familiar ingredients list: corn, water, lime.

Half the pack disappeared down my gullet in iterations of a deeply satisfying, distinctly easy snack:

  • Heat tortilla in a dry pan over high heat
  • Glaze w/salted butter
  • Spritz with lemon juice
  • Devour

But my actual gratitude for this impulse buy developed over this weekend when the weather begged for cooling low- or no-cook meals. Enter the tortilla salad. Nothing revolutionary here. Just something I had never really done, nor realized how much I would enjoy it.

  • Put tortillas (2 per serving) in a 300 F to 350 F over while you chop (No real science here, just don’t let them burn or get brown. You are trying to dry them, not toast them).
  • Dice delicious fresh things (About 1 C or as much as you want to eat). Over the course of this weekend I used: cucumbers, sugar snap peas, avocado, carrot, tomato, onion , olives
  • Toss veg w/lemon juice and salt to taste (or use a favorite acidic salad dressing)
  • Break dry tortillas into bite size pieces (make them small) toss w/ seasoned veg
  • Devour

Why not use already cooked tortilla chips? You absolutely could.  However, I prefer the taste and texture of the fresh tortillas without the added fat. Take crisped tortillas (or tostada shells), diced veg, etc., and some lemon wedges to work. Cheap, fast, bright, fresh work lunch. You could also add in diced meat or cheese. Great way to use up your BBQ leftovers!



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