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[Photograph: Blake Royer]

There’s something really appealing about main-dish salads. True or not, it also feels healthier to have a big salad for dinner, especially when all the elements of a balanced meal are in one place: vegetable, starch, and protein. Niçoise is a classic example, the tuna, hard-boiled egg, green beans, etc., all carefully composed on the plate. This recipe, adapted from Rick Bayless’ Mexican Everyday, is the same idea, with a whole new flavor profile: smoky charred poblano peppers, chopped cilantro, and creamy red-skin potatoes.

It’s not exactly Mexican and not exactly European but a nice compromise between the two. The recipe can be made with a high-quality canned tuna or, in this variation, topped with thin slices of medium-rare skirt steak. But the real star is the mixture of warm potatoes, poblanos, and sweet slices of red onion, dressed lightly with rice vinegar and olive oil and seasoned with a little oregano. For some reason, this combination is remarkably delicious, sweet, creamy, and smoky—just barely wilting the greens underneath.

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