Cowboy Caviar Salad

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Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Servings: 8 to 12

Gaby Dalkin is a cookbook author, avocado aficionado and founder of the popular site What’s Gaby Cooking, where she chronicles the best dishes to come out of her kitchen. Here she shares her recipe for Cowboy Caviar Salad, a bright, fresh addition to an outdoor fiesta or any Southwestern-style dinner. The vinaigrette can be made up to 5 days ahead and stored, covered, in the refrigerator, which will streamline prep when you’re getting ready for a party.


For the cilantro vinaigrette:

  • 2 cups (4 oz./125 g) firmly packed fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml) olive oil
  • 1 shallot, coarsely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 Tbs. red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt, plus more as needed
  • 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes, plus more as needed

For the salad:

  • 3 heads Little Gem lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces 
  • 2 cups (2 oz./60 g) firmly packed arugula
  • 1 cup (7 oz./220 g) cooked black beans
  • 1 cup (6 oz./185 g) roasted corn kernels
  • 2 large avocados, pitted, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 1 orange bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper


To make the vinaigrette, in a blender, combine the cilantro, olive oil, shallot, garlic, vinegar, salt and red pepper flakes. Blend until the mixture is very smooth, about 1 minute. Taste and season with more salt and red pepper flakes if desired. Set aside.

To assemble the salad, on a large platter or in a large bowl, combine the lettuce, arugula, black beans, corn, avocados and bell peppers. Drizzle with half of the vinaigrette and toss gently to combine. Add more vinaigrette as necessary to lightly coat the vegetables and toss again. Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately. Serves 8 to 12.

Recipe courtesy of Gaby Dalkin, cookbook author and founder of What’s Gaby Cooking

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