Vegetable Ideas to Serve with Chicken Mole
We're planning to have a dinner for friends this fall and we'd love to cook a mole. We'll obviously have rice, but I think we'd want a vegetable dish that wasn't in a sauce. Any idea on what vegetables would be suitable?
One of my go-to dishes for the sort of meal is a simple quick saute (stir fry, really) of julienned chayote and/or summer squash with garlic, Mexican oregano, a little bit of crushed hot chile (e.g., chiltepin, chipotle), salt and pepper. If you're using a mix of chayote and squash, you will want to start the chayote a little bit ahead of the squash. I often use a little bit of tomato with this kind of dish, but I think that might take in a "sauced" direction.
You could also try a similar simple saute with mild greens, like spinach or chard.
If you're feeling a little more adventurous, you could try a salad of cactus pads (nopales) or one with jicama, lime, and chile.
I'm a late-comer to the cabbage game, so it doesn't come to mind right away like some other things. But I agree that the crunch and lightly acidic bite of a simple cabbage slaw would be a very nice accompaniment for a rich mole.
Try as I might, I can't get past neutral on cucumbers, but I recognize that my ambivalence toward this refreshing vegetable is not entirely normal, especially for a wannabe chowhound. ;-)
I have served a salad like this with mole. Sorry I don't know quantities, I eyeball everything. I think it might have originally been from a rick bayless cookbook.
cumin lime cilantro vinagrette: about a half bunch of cilantro, olive oil, cumin, honey, lime, salt and pepper, whizzed in a food processor or blender.
pepitas (toasted pumpkin seeds)
cojita (mexican cheese) if you can find. it
I cooked Chicken Mole for my husband on Fathers' Day and made the salad. Absilutely fabulous.
I couldnt find any jicima and substituted cucumber and asian pear. Next time I will plan ahead - the supermarket told me they were getting more in the next day.
Ratios for the dressing:
3 tbs evoo
juice of half a lime
1 tbs honey
1 tsp cumin
and half a small bunch of cilantro
Yes... in Puebla... the better cooks often serve Mole Poblano with either Baked Plantains... or Stuffed Plantains.
The other approach I have seen is to serve it with a single Anise Tamal.. not a vegetable.
In either case, its common to preceed the Mole Course with a vegetable course such as a Berros (Watercress) Salad - I remember a stunning version that paired Watercress with Mango Escabeche, Queso Fresco... very lightly doused with pineapple vinegar & olive oil.... other vegetable dishes include Colorin Petal fritters, Squash Blossoms stuffed with Mushrooms & Sweet Potato, or Calabacitas stuffed with Squash Blossoms cream.