There’s only one thing in the world that can abate my craving for a taco besides an actual taco and that ‘thing’ is a taco salad.
All the very same things tacos are loved for tossed together to make the most delicious hot mess of a salad. Iceberg lettuce, taco meat, cheddar cheese, black olives, tomatoes, red onion and tortilla chips plus whatever else you want to toss in.
When the hot, seasoned meat hits the cold salad everything comes to life. Like fire and ice. The lettuce slightly wilts, the cheese softens and melts a little and the juices from the meat coat everything in that lovely spicy flavor that will make you want to lick the bowl clean.
Where most taco salads have a dressing I keep it simple with olive oil and a touch of vinegar so as not to mess with those simple, clean flavors I love. You can skip that entirely and mix in salsa or guacamole to keep it from being dry or a little dressing like Ranch or Catalina – even Italian.
You can also go with a lone dollop of sour cream, which I do anyways because a taco without sour cream isn’t even worthy of my time. Whatever you’re in the mood for – just keep it light – you don’t want to drench it.
This is obviously extremely versatile! You can add beans, avocado, heft up the vegetables, use romaine lettuce instead of iceberg, add flavored chips, a different cheese, chicken or ground turkey in place of beef. . . the options are endless.
All the very same things tacos are loved for tossed together to make the most delicious hot mess of a salad! Iceberg lettuce, taco meat, cheddar cheese, black olives, tomatoes, red onion and tortilla chips plus whatever else you want to throw in.
- Cook the ground beef as directed on the taco seasoning package.
- Meanwhile remove the outer leaves of the iceberg lettuce, pound the core on the counter to loosen it then pull it out. Cut the head of lettuce in half then cut each half in half again. Working one at a time lay cut side down on a cutting board. Slice into 1/2-inch thick wide slices then cut those into 2-3 inch long pieces so it resembles large shreds. Wash and dry well.
- Add the lettuce to a large bowl with the cheese, tomatoes, olives and onion. Drizzle with oil, vinegar and season lightly with salt and pepper. Toss well.
- When the beef is ready add it to the bowl along with the tortilla chips, toss gently until well combined. Serve hot or at room temperature with a dollop of sour cream, if desired.
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