Topopo (Volcano) Salad

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A popular dish, Topopo is a Mexican-style salad in the shape of a volcano or pyramid. Great for dinner, this salad is piled with layers of fresh vegetables, chicken, shrimp, beans and cheese, all topped with a cilantro-vinegar dressing and your favorite fiery salsa. Serves 4.


1/2 bunch cilantro, stems removed
1/3 c red wine vinegar
1/4 c seasoned rice wine vinegar
1 t celery seed
2 t minced garlic
1 1/2 T sugar
1/4 t black pepper, ground
1/2 t salt
1/2 c ea extra virgin olive oil and canola oil

1 1/2 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, roasted and shredded*
salt and pepper, to taste
2 T olive oil
2, 15 oz cans black beans, drained
1/2 head ea iceberg and romaine lettuce, shredded
2 tomatoes, diced
1/2 bunch cilantro leaves
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1/2 red onion, julienned
4 tostada shells
1/2 lb cooked bay shrimp
10 oz habanero jack or
pepper jack cheese, grated
1 c salsa, as desired
2 avocados, sliced for garnish
limes, sliced for garnish


Combine all ingredients except oils in a processor. Slowly add oils in a steady stream with motor running until emulsified. Dressing can be made in advance and refrigerated in an airtight container for several days.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Rub chicken breasts with salt and pepper and olive oil. Cook 25 min until 165 degrees internal temperature is reached. Meanwhile, heat beans in small pan; season to taste with a pinch of salt and pepper.

In a large bowl, combine lettuces, tomatoes, cilantro and onions. Toss with enough dressing to coat, as desired.

To assemble, place tostada shells on serving plates, spread with warm beans, 2 oz of cheese, 1/3 lb chicken and 2 oz shrimp. Divide lettuce mixture among plates, top with a spoonful of salsa, as desired, and a pinch of cheese and onion. Serve with avocado and lime on the side.

*Shredded Market Rotisserie Chicken can be substituted.