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New Mexican Zest

Greens and grains at Green Chile Kitchen.

MOST CUISINES HAVE a set of defining ingredients. Canned tomatoes and pasta ring of Italian, miso and seaweed signal Japanese, and for New Mexico it’s chile. Both red and green chiles are native to New Mexico, each harvested at different times of ripeness during the fall. But it’s the green chile, which is picked earlier than red, that really shines. Many consider green chiles packed with vitamin C a superfood, and some even report a runner’s-like high after consuming them. Over at Green Chile Kitchen in San Rafael Bueno chile is used in every dish. The restaurant is a small chain, with locations in San Rafael, San Francisco and Oklahoma and two Chile Pies brick-and-mortars in Guerneville and San Francisco (Chile Pies Baking Co. serves sweet and savory pies, along with ice cream and other treats). Trevor Logan and Santa Fe, New Mexico, native Ted Razatos operate the San Rafael branch of Green Chile Kitchen. In 1947 Razatos’ family opened downtown Santa Fe’s acclaimed Plaza Cafe, which serves authentic traditional dishes and is the city’s oldest downtown restaurant. Here they share a popular salad recipe. “Our grains and greens salad is a fun and healthy light snack or dinner option,” says chef Justin Diehl. “It’s packed with omega-3s, vitamin C and antioxidants.”

Grains and Greens


Chipotle Lime Vinaigrette

2 dried chipotle peppers (or 2 canned chiles in adobo)
¼ cup white wine vinegar
½ bunch fresh cilantro
Juice of one lemon
1 tablespoon kosher salt
½ tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
½ teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
¼ teaspoon minced garlic
¼ teaspoon Mexican red chile powder
¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 cups cooked organic quinoa
L cup cooked organic black beans
L cup oven roasted organic corn
¼ cup fire-roasted, peeled and diced red peppers,
plus more for garnish
¼ cup diced jicama
¼ cup chopped green onions
¼ cup fresh lime juice
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
½ bunch fresh cilantro, finely chopped
¾ teaspoon kosher salt
Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
14 ounces organic green curly kale, coarsely chopped

4 tablespoons oven roasted pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
2 avocados, sliced

To Prepare

Make the vinaigrette
1. If using dried chipotles, soak in hot water until soft, 15 to 20 minutes, then drain.
2. Combine the chiles and all of the remaining ingredients, except the oil, in a food processor. With the motor running, add the oil in a steady stream and blend. Makes about 1¼ cups.
Assemble the salad
1. Combine all of the ingredients, except the kale, in a large metal bowl and mix by hand.
2. Place the kale in a separate bowl, dress with some of the vinaigrette and massage the leaves thoroughly.
3. Divide the kale between four serving bowls. Scoop the quinoa over the kale and garnish with pepitas and additional roasted red peppers. Serve with sliced avocado for extra goodness.

• Recipe edited by Lynda Balslev
• Photo by Debra Tarrant

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