I often make this in the summer as a refreshing salad but it can also be good in the fall, when I’m able to add freshly roasted piñon pine nuts on top for more Southwestern flavor. What makes this is the freshly made tortilla strips on the top.


  • 2 cups masa harina
  • 1 1/2 cup warm water, adding until you get a smooth dough


  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup lime juice
  • salt, pepper and minced cilantro, to taste

Salad base:

  • Chopped romaine lettuce
  • Diced tomatoes
  • Diced avocado
  • Black beans, cool or room temperature
  • Corn, cool or room temperature
  • Diced bell pepper

Salad toppings:

  • Toasted pepitas
  • Toasted piñon pine nuts or pine nuts (optional)


  1. Mix the dressing ingredients thoroughly to make the dressing.
  2. Mix the tortilla ingredients until you get a smooth dough, adding additional water as needed. Knead, then let rest 10 minutes. Form small balls of dough, then flatten with a tortilla press or the bottom of a heavy pan. Heat on pan on medium heat 1-2 minutes on each side, keep in a tortilla warmer and continue until all the dough has been made into tortillas. I like to make two different kinds using two different colors of masa – blue and yellow. This is more flavorful and colorful!
  3. Cut tortillas into strips, then form into bird’s nests and deep fry until crispy, then set aside. You can also make flat strips in the oven or using an air fryer to cut down on the oil. Let cool.
  4. Prepare the plates by laying down the bed of lettuce first, then place the other salad base ingredients on top, arranged as you wish.
  5. Pour dressing over salads, then put the nuts on top and the fried tortilla strips

There are many possible variations to this common theme. I have also put swirls of vegan ranch dressing on top, used hominy instead of regular corn or used canned roasted corn. You can use other sorts of lettuce too if you wish.