This unconventional salad isn’t shy. Smashed baby potatoes soak up the spicy juices from Mexican chorizo as they roast together harmoniously on a sheet pan. The two become a dinner salad once they’re tossed with shredded lettuce and scallions, drizzled with a puckering lime vinaigrette, and finished with plenty of salty cheese crumbles.
Queso fresco is a semisoft Mexican cheese, similar to feta in milky-tangy flavor and crumbly texture, that can be found in rounds in the cheese section of most grocery stores. If you can’t find it, a mild feta can be substituted.
Excerpted from Salad Seasons: Vegetable-Forward Dishes All Year (c) 2023 by Sheela Prakash. Used with permission of the publisher, Rizzoli. Photography by Kristin Teig. All rights reserved.
Cook potatoes and preheat oven:
Place the potatoes and 1 tablespoon salt in a large saucepan. Cover with cool water by 1 inch, then bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the potatoes are easily pierced with a knife, 10 to 15 minutes. Drain in a colander and rinse under cold water to cool slightly. Set aside in the colander to let the skins dry.
Preheat the oven:
Meanwhile, arrange 2 racks to divide the oven into thirds and heat the oven to 450°F. Drizzle a rimmed baking sheet with 2 tablespoons olive oil.
Once the potatoes are cool enough to handle, transfer them to the prepared baking sheet and shake the baking sheet to coat the potatoes in the oil. Press down on each potato with the bottom of a measuring cup or drinking glass until it splits and flattens to about 1⁄4 inch thick.
Top with chorizo and scallions:
Pull the chorizo into bite-sized clumps with your hands and scatter them in the open spaces between the potatoes. Scatter the white and pale green parts of the scallions on top. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil and season with 1⁄2 teaspoon salt and several grinds of pepper.
Roast potatoes again:
Roast on the bottom rack until the bottoms of the potatoes are golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Switch the oven to broil on high, transfer the baking sheet to the top rack, and broil until the tops of the potatoes are golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes more.
Prepare the vinaigrette:
Meanwhile, whisk together the lime zest, lime juice, garlic, the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, a generous pinch of salt, and several grinds of pepper in a small bowl.
Assemble and serve:
Scatter the lettuce and thinly sliced dark green parts of the scallions over the potatoes and chorizo. Drizzle with the vinaigrette and toss gently on the baking sheet to lightly wilt the lettuce and coat everything in the vinaigrette. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper as needed. Sprinkle the crumbled queso fresco on top and serve the salad right off the baking sheet. (Alternatively, transfer to a large serving bowl.)
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