Garden Hearts® Mexican Fiesta Salad


8 servings


  • 8 Garden Hearts® Petite Romaine Hearts
  • 1 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cups onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 lb lean ground beef
  • 2 tsps chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 4 tbsps tomato paste
  • 1 14-ounce can dark kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 8 large flour tortillas, fried into crisp bowls
  • 4 fresh tomatoes, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup scallions, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese, coarsely grated
  • 1 small can black olives, sliced
  • Jalapeno Cilantro Vinaigrette (recipe follows)
  • 16 small corn tortillas, cut into ribbons, fried crisply and salted


  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 large jalapenos, seeded and finely minced
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • salt to taste
  • 1 cup vegetable oil


  1. PREPARE DRESSING: Mix all ingredients except vegetable oil. When well blended, slowly whisk in oil until emulsified.
  2. Cut one inch from the base of the Garden Hearts Petites and separate into individual leaves. Rinse under cold, running water. Reserve four whole outer leaves from each head and shred remaining romaine hearts.
  3. In a large, non-stick skillet, heat vegetable oil, add onion and garlic; cook until translucent.
  4. Add ground beef and brown, chopping it up finely. Stir in chili powder, cumin and tomato paste. Add kidney beans and simmer until beef is done. Transfer to a large bowl and allow to cool.
  5. Place a tortilla bowl on its side, stand 4 whole Garden Hearts leaves along the back and fill with shredded Garden Hearts. Top with beef mixture, tomatoes, cheese, scallions and black olives.
  6. Drizzle with Jalapeno Cilantro Vinaigrette and add tortilla ribbons on the side.

Chef Beat Giger

Recipe by:

CEC, AAC, Corporate Chef Pebble Beach Resorts; Pebble Beach, CA

Chef's comment:

"These South-of-the-Border flavors combine well with the crunch of Garden Hearts®."