Prepare the dressing by whisking together in a small bowl the crema, lime juice, hot sauce, and optional taco seasoning. Set aside.
Roast 2 ears of corn for added flavor to the salad. Trim kernels from the cobs and set them aside.
Prepare the vegetables by washing and chopping the romaine lettuce, tomatoes, and bell peppers. Dice avocado and squeeze a bit of lime juice over the top to preserve freshness.
Build the layered salad in a large trifle bowl or clear glass salad bowl with straight edges.
Layer half of the chopped lettuce on the bottom of the bowl. Add black beans, then cheese, then tomatoes.
Add the other half of the chopped lettuce. Combine the diced bell peppers and corn and layer on top of the lettuce. Reserve a bit of tomato, peppers, and corn to garnish the very top.
Drizzle the prepared sauce over the salad.
Mound the avocado chunks around the top perimeter of the salad. Fill the center with a heaping pile of tortilla strips. Sprinkle a little bit of the reserved tomatoes and corn over the avocado for color variety.
Chopped salads can be labor intensive but using ingredients like canned black beans, canned corn, and pre-shredded cheese makes the cook’s job easy in this recipe.
We rubbed the corn with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper and grilled it for about 20 minutes.
You can vary the amounts of ingredients for personal taste preference.
The layered effect of all those beautiful vegetables and ingredients looks fabulous in a clear glass bowl.