In the past week, San Francisco's seen some of the hottest days of the year. Which is why when a friend came over for lunch, I suggested we make a big, chilled salad with a cooling dressing to top it off. I chose taco salad: not the traditional kind with a fried tostada bowl and ground beef, but a lighter, meatless version with a creamy cilantro, cucumber, and avocado dressing.
The salad turned out beautifully. It has vibrantly hued ingredients, each neatly chopped, in contrasting layers. I especially enjoyed the flavors and textures — like buttery avocado, smoky cumin, and crispy chips — without any of the grease. Leftover chopped ingredients make for a wonderful next meal, and you can vary the dish. Remove the cheese to turn it vegan, or add grilled skirt steak if you're a meat lover. Savor a different taco salad when you read more