Oaxaca salad by Pilar Cabrera: Ensalada Oaxaca por Pilar Cabrera

articles Food & Cuisine Recipes

Karen Hursh Graber

Pilar Cabrera, chef, cooking instructor and, most recently, participant in Iron Chef Canada, shares this recipe with Mexconnect readers.


  • 250 grams (about ½ pound) of organic lettuce
  • 80 grams (about 3 ounces) chile pasilla toasted (see note, below)
  • 80 grams (about 3 ounces) of julienned tortilla strips, fried in oil
  • 8 pieces of Oaxaca cheese
  • 8 cherry tomatoes
  • 8 scallions, grilled
  • 250 ml (about 8 fluid ounces) of tamarind dressing (recipe follows)

Clean the chile and grill it. After that, blend until you get a chile powder. Put the lettuce in a bowl and add the dressing. Plate the salad in a pasta bowl, with the cheese, cherry tomatoes and scallions arranged around the lettuce. Sprinkle with the ground pasilla. (Makes 1 generous serving of salad.)

(Note from Mexconnect: Dried chiles should be toasted only to the point of fragrance. Any more and they will burn, producing a bitter flavor.)


  • 100 ml (about 3 fluid ounces) adobo sauce (from a can of chipotles in adobo)
  • 250 ml (about 8 fluid ounces) of apple cider vinegar
  • 125 ml (about 4 fluid ounces) of olive oil
  • 50 grams (about 1 ¾ ounces) of fresh grated ginger
  • 60 grams( about 2 ounces) of tamarind pulp (see note, below)
  • Salt and pepper

Whisk all ingredients in a bowl until blended together. Taste and add salt and pepper. Let the dressing sit for at least 1 hour to 1 day before serving, so that the flavors come together. This dressing lasts for up to 3 weeks in the refrigerator. Always label with the date. (Makes about 16 fluid ounces.)

(Note: In Mexico, tamarind pulp can be found at mercados and supermarkets. North of the border, it can be found in Mexican and Asian grocery stores or online.)

Link to source article
A Oaxaca culinary ambassador: an interview with Chef Pilar Cabrera

Published or Updated on: March 24, 2011 by Karen Hursh Graber © 2011
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