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Thursday, September 11, 2008

Sweet Corno di Toro Peppers in Mexican Chopped Salad

Feeling horny?

Corno di Toro ("Horns of the Bull") Peppers

Corno di Toro (

The name "Corno di Toro" is actually Italian for "Horns of the Bull". Though their red color suggests chile pepper heat, these peppers are actually some of the sweetest peppers around. In fact, the yellow variety of these peppers was voted among the best sweet peppers by Sunset Magazine.

We picked up some of these Corno di Toro heirloom sweet peppers from a vendor at the Los Altos Farmer's Market and used them in place of regular bell peppers for the Mexican Chopped Salad recipe that we've previously done twice. We took two red and two yellow Corno di Toro peppers, halved and seeded them, then grilled them along with some becautiful bicolored corn on our gas grill until the pepper skins were blackened.

Grilling Bicolored Corn and Corno di Toro Peppers

Grilled Bicolored Corn and Corno di Toro Peppers

After grilling them, we cut the kernels off the corn and then diced the grilled peppers. We also diced a couple of heirloom tomatoes, peeled and diced a medium-sized jicama, and pitted and diced a couple of fresh avocado fruit (all procured at the farmer's market). We arranged all the ingredients in separate sections on a large platter along with a can of black beans (drained). Then we garnished with chopped cilantro (again, from the farmer's market).

Chopped Mexican Salad with Grilled Corno di Toro Peppers, Bicolored Corn, Heirloom Tomatoes, Jicama, Avocado and Black Beans

Chopped Mexican Salad with Grilled Corno di Toro Peppers, Bicolored Corn, Heirloom Tomatoes, Jicama, Avocado and Black Beans

The dressing for this salad is made from extra virgin olive oil, garlic, shallots, lime juice, orange juice, honey, ground cumin, and salt and pepper. Each person scooped a little portion of each salad component to their own plate, spooned on some dressing and then mixed them together.

Chopped Mexican Salad, Mixed

Chopped Mexican Salad with Grilled Corno di Toro Peppers, Bicolored Corn, Heirloom Tomatoes, Jicama, Avocado and Black Beans

Chopped Mexican Salad Recipe

adapted from Fine Cooking Magazine, July 2006 issue

Salad Ingredients:

2 red Corno di Toro peppers, halved and seeded then grilled and diced
2 yellow Corno di Toro peppers, halved and seeded then grilled and diced
3 ears of bicolored corn, husked, grilled and shucked
2 large heirloom tomatoes, diced
1 medium jicama, diced
2 avocado, pitted and diced
1 can black beans, drained
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

Dressing Ingredients:

1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 Tbsp orange juice
3 Tbsp lime juice
1 shallot, finely chopped
2 Tbsp honey
3/4 Tsp cumin, toasted and ground
salt and pepper to taste

I really like this salad because there are a lot of flavors and textures going on in each mouthful. You have the sweetness of the corn and the peppers, the umami of the tomatoes, the crunchiness of the jicama and the creaminess of the avocado. The cumin in the dressing gives it interest while the citrus juices tie everything together. All in all, a wonderful salad!

This recipe was entered in the No Croutons Required - Fruit Edition roundup hosted by Holler at Tinned Tomatoes.

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Aloha, Nate

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11 Comments:

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

Beautiful peppers -- I've never heard of that variety. Sometimes I feel that here in the Northeast we are so limited in the pepper arena!

[eatingclub] vancouver || js said...

Lovely salad! It looks and feels so summery! I've never seen that variety of pepper here before, but that's for the tip. I'll be looking out for it.

Robert said...

Lydia, even out here, a wide selection of peppers is not that easy to find. Those look exceptional in both quality and freshness. That salad looks great. Oh, Annie, I am finally getting some ripe Earl's Faux, Marianna's Peace and Doc Wyches. Seems to have taken forever.

Nate-n-Annie said...

@Lydia - I'm sure someone has figured out how to grow sweet peppers successfully!

@JS - Hope you can find these - they're so good with salad.

@Robert - Yes, our tomatoes are finally starting to produce in mass quantities!

noobcook said...

bessst sweet peppers... I want!! Unfortunately I will almost never find them in Singapore ... so I can only drool at your lovely photos :D

KayKat said...

Yum! That dressing sounds divine - light and citrus-y - perfect for the extra dose of summer we're having here in the Northwest!

lisa said...

That looks lovely, thank you for submitting it to No Croutons Required :) Good Luck!

Nate-n-Annie said...

@Wiffy - what can you get at Carrefour?

@KayKat - hey, send some of that summer back down here!

@Lisa - you're welcome!

lisa said...

Your salad looks gorgeous Nathan! I love the combination of the chargrilled pepper and corn and that fruity dressing. Lovely!

The No Croutons Required line-up and voting poll will be posted tomorrow over at tinned tomaotes

Nate-n-Annie said...

@Lisa - thanks!

Kim said...

I'm growing these peppers! I'm going to try this recipe using them. Thanks.