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Grilled Fajita Salad with Avocado and Serrano Vinaigrette

California Avocado Commission
From: Leigh Lupinacci, Baja Sharkeez, Hermosa Beach, CA. Yield: 1 serving.

4 oz. fajita vegetables (bell pepper and onion), julienned
4 oz. chicken, shrimp or steak (if using chicken or steak, cut into ½” strips), cooked
2 oz. jalapeno butter (recipe follows)
4 oz. lettuce mix
4 oz. pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 oz. shredded mixed cheese blend (Monterey Jack, cheddar, etc.)
2 oz. fried tortilla strips (about two 6” tortillas)
1 Tbsp. pico de gallo
3 oz. Serrano vinaigrette, divided (recipe follows)
1 Tbsp. pepitas (roasted pumpkin seeds)
1 oz. ripe avocado, peeled, seeded, diced
1 Tbsp. cotija cheese, crumbled

Jalapeno Butter (yields ½ cup):
2 oz. margarine, room temperature
2 oz. butter, room temperature
1 Tbsp. minced jalapeno
1½ tsp. minced garlic
¾ tsp. Worcestershire sauce
¼ tsp. pepper sauce
¼ tsp. Mexican seasoning
¼ tsp. minced cilantro stems

Serrano Vinaigrette (yields ½ cup):
4 oz. cabernet vinaigrette
¾ tsp. minced Serrano peppers
½ tsp. minced garlic
½ tsp. chopped cilantro
¼ tsp. freshly ground pepper

For jalapeno butter: Place margarine and butter in bowl of stand mixer. Beat with paddle attachment until mixture is smooth and creamy. Add remaining ingredients and continue to blend on low until all ingredients are combined. Refrigerate until needed. Discard after 3 days.

For Serrano vinaigrette dressing: Whisk all ingredients together.

To assemble: Heat jalapeno butter in sauté pan over medium-high heat until hot. Add julienned fajita vegetables with 1 oz. Serrano vinaigrette. Saute the vegetables until they begin to soften. Add cooked meat and stir until meat is heated through. Remove from heat.

In a large bowl, toss the lettuce, pinto beans, shredded cheese mix, fried tortilla strips, pico de gallo, pepitas and remaining 2 oz. Serrano vinaigrette dressing. Arrange on a plate in a large flat mound. Spread the cooked fajita mixture on top of the mound. Top with the crumbled cotija cheese and avocado. Serve.

Note: Large avocados (about 8 oz.) are recommended for this recipe. If using smaller or larger size avocados, adjust quantity accordingly.

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