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Laredo Salad with Marinated Onions

Laredo Salad with Marinated Onions

Yield: 12 servings.

3 large yellow and/or red onions, halved

¾ cup red wine vinegar

¾ cup water

¾ cup sugar

1½ tsp. ground cumin

1½ tsp. chili powder

¾ tsp. salt

24 ounces mixed salad greens (about 18 cups, loosely packed)

6 large tomatoes, halved and sliced

3 avocados

¾ cup (packed) cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped

3 small fresh chiles, sliced (if available)

12 ripe olives

as needed, picante vinaigrette

Picante Vinaigrette (yield: 1½ cup):

¾ cup olive oil

¼ cup red wine vinegar,

6 Tbsp. medium picante sauce

3 Tbsp. sugar

3 tsp. dried oregano

Place onion flat-sides down and thinly slice crosswise. Combine vinegar, water, sugar, cumin, chili powder and salt in container with lid. Shake well to mix, add onions and shake to coat onions thoroughly. Place in refrigerator and marinate for at least 12 hours, shaking onions in marinade 2 or 3 times.

To assemble salad: Heap lettuce on plates. Arrange tomato slices on salads radiating out from center, wagon wheel fashion. Lift onions from marinade and heap into center. Halve, seed and peel avocado. Slice each half lengthwise into thin slices, keeping slices attached at one end. Fan out and divide each fan onto two salads. Sprinkle salads with cilantro and chile slices. Add olives. Serve with picante vinaigrette.

For picante vinaigrette: Combine ingredients.