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Panko Fried Avocado Taco Salad with Black Beans +Tortillas

Active Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
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Why we love it:

You’re welcome. For this recipe, in case that wasn’t clear. Taco Tuesday just got an elegant upgrade worthy of a meal for one or an entire dinner party. Fried avocados are a California fairground staple but it turns out making a version at home is doable and addictive!

Ingredients

  • 8 Corn Tortillas
  • 6 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil (divided)
  • 112 teaspoons Kosher Salt (divided)
  • 2 ears Corn
  • 3 Avocados (ripe but firm)
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Chili Powder
  • 12 teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 12 cup Panko Breadcrumbs
  • 1 head Romaine Lettuce
  • 12 Red Onion
  • 1 pint Cherry Tomatoes
  • 1 15-ounce can Black Beans
  • 2 Tablespoons Cider Vinegar
  • 12 teaspoon Honey
  • 2 teaspoons Water

Cooking Instructions

  • 1. PREHEAT THE OVEN TO 450 DEGREES
  • 2. TORTILLAS + CORN

    Stack the tortillas and cut them into ½” thick strips, then in half or thirds into shorter strips. Place them on a baking sheet and drizzle with about 1 teaspoon of olive oil and ½ teaspoon of salt. Toss to coat and spread out in one layer.
    Shuck the corn and add the whole ears to the side of the sheet pan.

    Roast for about 5-6 minutes. Keep a close eye on the tortilla strips and use a spatula to carefully stir them at least once.

  • 3. AVOCADOS

    Slice avocados in half. Reserve 1 for dressing. Use a large spoon to scoop out the halves. Drizzle the avocado halves evenly with 1 teaspoon of olive oil and sprinkle with ½ teaspoon each: salt, cumin, chili powder and a few turns of freshly cracked black pepper.

    Place the panko in a bowl. Using a spoon, gently place each piece in the panko and spoon more over top. Turn to coat. You can press gently to get it to stick. There will be some “bald” spots but that’s ok. Move to a clean plate.

    Heat a non-stick pan over medium high heat. Add 3 Tablespoons of oil. After it’s warm and shimmering, carefully place the avocado halves in the oil. Don’t overcrowd, if you need to do two batches, that will be fine.

    Cook for about 3-4 minutes until the first side is golden, brown, and releases from the pan. Flip and cook the other side. Pan frying like this won’t be perfect, you’re looking for most of the surface to be mostly browned. Remove from pan. If needed, repeat with the next batch.

    Sprinkle the hot avocado with a pinch of salt.

  • 4. SALAD

    Meanwhile, slice up the romaine into thin strips or squares. Wash and dry as needed to make sure it’s clean. Toss in a large bowl.

    Finely dice half of a red onion and add it to the bowl.

    Slice cherry tomatoes in half, if you prefer, or add them whole.

  • 5. BEANS

    Open and drain the beans. When the tortillas are crisp and done, remove them from the oven and scrape into a bowl. Add the drained beans to the hot pan and cook them in the oven for 3-4 minutes. This will be just long enough to warm them a bit but not to dry them out. This is optional, but since the oven is on and it doesn’t dirty the pan, it is a nice touch for the texture of the beans.

  • 6. DRESSING

    In a blender, place 2 Tablespoons Cider Vinegar, ½ teaspoon Honey, ½ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon black pepper, and 1 whole, ripe avocado (peeled). Add 2 teaspoons of water and blend. Stream in the olive oil, about 5 Tablespoons or so. If it’s too thick, add another teaspoon or so of water, whatever is needed for a smooth and not too thick consistency. The ideal texture is between sticking to a spoon but still looking soft or that of heavy cream.

  • 7. SALAD

    Add the beans to the lettuce.
    Slice the corn off the cob and add it to the bowl.
    Add the tortillas to the bowl.
    Toss gently to combine everything.

  • 8. SERVING

    Divide evenly among plates or big shallow bowls. Top with slices of the fried avocado and serve dressing on the side or drizzled over top.

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Substitutions

  • FRYING AVOCADO:
    Just slice and serve over top. It’s easier by far and sometimes you just need that
  • CORN ON COB:
    use 1 cup of frozen corn or omit and add a different veggie
  • ONION:
    don’t like? Omit. Or, slice into thin strips and bake in the oven with the fish to soften the bite
  • BEANS:
    Omit if allergic. Garbanzo, pinto or white beans work nicely too
  • GRAIN:
    Consider cooked rice, quinoa, or lentils for a hearty addition
  • CHEESE:
    taco salad is only made better by adding a handful of grated cheese, jack, or crumbled queso fresco
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