The Washington Post

Ex-Texas Salad

Ex-Texas Salad 6.000

Dixie D. Vereen for The Washington Post

May 2, 2016

This is a radically updated version of the 1970s-era salad popular at potlucks in Texas and made frequently by Food editor Joe Yonan's mother, Dolores Jones.

Make Ahead: The vinaigrette can be refrigerated for up to 1 week. The tortillas can be fried and stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 6 servings

  • For the vinaigrette
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, plus more as needed
  • For the salad
  • 1/2 cup peanut oil, for frying
  • Six 6-inch corn tortillas
  • 12 cups lightly packed, torn romaine lettuce leaves
  • 3 cups homemade or no-salt-added canned black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 6 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced on the diagonal (white and green parts)
  • 12 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
  • 12 large pieces 12-Hour Tomatoes (see related recipe), drained and chopped (may substitute 18 oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes)

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For the vinaigrette: Combine the cilantro, extra-virgin olive and canola oils, vinegar, garlic, sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of salt in a blender; puree until smooth. Taste, and add salt as needed. The yield should be about 3/4 cup.

For the salad: Line a plate with paper towels.

Pour the peanut oil into a large skillet over medium heat. Once that oil starts to shimmer, add 2 or 3 tortillas (or as many as will comfortably fit); fry them on each side until crisp and golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Lift each tortilla with tongs and let the excess oil drip off, then transfer it to the paper-towel-lined plate. Working in batches, repeat with the remaining tortillas. Let the tortillas cool, then break them into bite-size pieces.

Toss the tortilla pieces with the lettuce, black beans, scallions, feta, tomatoes and 1/2 cup of the vinaigrette in a large serving bowl. Add the remaining 1/4 cup of the vinaigrette if desired, or reserve for another use. Serve right away.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from a recipe in Yonan's "Serve Yourself: Nightly Adventures in Cooking for One," (Ten Speed Press, 2011).

Tested by Joe Yonan.

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Nutritional Facts

Calories per serving (using oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes): 530

% Daily Values*

Total Fat: 33g 51%

Saturated Fat: 11g 55%

Cholesterol: 50mg 17%

Sodium: 700mg 29%

Total Carbohydrates: 44g 15%

Dietary Fiber: 12g 48%

Sugar: 4g

Protein: 20g

*Percent Daily Value based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Total Fat: Less than 65g

Saturated Fat: Less than 20g

Cholesterol: Less than 300mg

Sodium: Less than 2,400mg

Total Carbohydrates: 300g

Dietary Fiber: 25g

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