Makes 8 servings

Notes: To cook corn, put kernels in a microwave-safe bowl and heat in a microwave oven on full power (100%) until steaming, about 2 minutes. Let cool.

How to Make It

Step 1

Cut corn kernels from cobs; discard cobs. Taste corn. If it's tender, use raw; if it's starchy, cook as directed in notes. Put in a large bowl.

Step 2

Cut chilies, bell pepper, and cucumber into 1/4-inch dice; add to bowl, along with green onions, jicama, and beans.

Step 3

Cut avocados in half; pit and peel them. Cut 3 halves into 1/4-inch dice; reserve remaining half for dressing. Add diced avocado, lime juice, and 1 teaspoon chili flakes to bowl and mix gently. Add salt to taste.

Step 4

Mound salad equally in wide, shallow bowls. Pile croutons alongside and spoon dressing over the top (or serve on the side). Sprinkle with more chili flakes to taste.

Step 5

Green desert dressing: In a blender or food processor, whirl 1 peeled avocado half (see New Mexico chopped salad, preceding), 3/4 cup sour cream, 1/4 cup reduced-fat or regular mayonnaise, 1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro, 1/2 cup coarsely chopped parsley, 1/4 cup chopped green onions (including tops), and 1 can (2 oz.) flat anchovy fillets with oil until smooth. Makes about 1 3/4 cup.

Step 6

Cornbread croutons: Prepare 1 box (about 13 oz.) cornbread mix as directed, or use your favorite cornbread recipe; bake in an 8-inch square pan. Let cool about 10 minutes, then invert onto a rack to cool. Cut into 1-inch cubes. Spread 3 tablespoons olive or salad oil in a rimmed 10- by 15-inch pan. Add cornbread and turn to coat lightly with oil. Bake in a 375° regular or convection oven, turning occasionally, until evenly browned, 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool at least 10 minutes. Use warm or cool.

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