Appetizers Dinner Lunch Pati Jinich Salads Sides Vegetarian


By Pati’s Mexican Table 

Pati invites a few of her girlfriends over for a much needed “girls’ night in.” But these girls are here to grill! Grilling isn’t just a guy thing — Pati’s got a great outdoor grill, and she’s gonna put it to work by cooking up a mouth-watering menu of Mexican food with a BBQ twist. One of Pati’s sisters shows up to help her mix some drinks too!

Ensalada de Lechuga y Pimientos Asados con Vinagreta de Chile Ancho y Queso

Serves 6


For the vinaigrette:

– 6 to 8 ancho chiles (about 3 ounces), rinsed, stemmed and seeded
– 1/2 cup finely chopped white onion
– 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
– 1/4 cup unseasoned rice vinegar
– 1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
– 1/2 cup vegetable oil
– 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher or coarse sea salt, or to taste
– 2 teaspoons brown sugar or grated piloncillo, or to taste

For the salad:

– 3 red bell peppers
– 3 heads romaine lettuce
– Olive oil, to drizzle
– 1/2 cup crumbled queso fresco, mild feta or farmers’ cheese


To make the vinaigrette:

Using kitchen scissors or a sharp knife, cut the stemmed and seeded chiles lengthwise into thin strips and place them in a mixing bowl. Add the onion, garlic, vinegars, oil, salt and sugar to the bowl and toss to mix well. Transfer everything to a container with a tight-fitting lid and refrigerate for at least 8 hours before using.

To make the salad:

Place the red bell peppers either on a tray under the broiler, on a heated grill, or on a heated comal on the stovetop, and char on all sides, flipping as each side chars, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat. Once cool enough to handle, remove the stems and cut into slices (without removing the skin or discarding the juices).

Slice the romaine lettuces in half lengthwise. Drizzle each half with a small amount of olive oil and sprinkle on a pinch of salt and pepper. Place them on a heated grill or comal and quickly char, about 1 minute per side.

Serve lettuces on a platter along with the red bell pepper strips, ladle the ancho chile vinaigrette on top and sprinkle with the cheese.

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