Thursday, August 14, 2008

Savory Avocado Salad



This past Mother's Day, I planted a little garden. Nothing fancy, just a tiny plot designed to be manageable for someone born without benefit of green thumbs. Vining tomatoes, eggplants, bush beans, herbs. Radishes, carrots, and a single St. Nickolaus grape tomato plant.

I did all the things gardeners are supposed to do: pull weeds, stake slender stems, venture out at midnight with tweezers and flashlight to pull an appalling array of slugs and bugs off my basil. And now, lo and behold, it's starting to pay off!

What an amazing thing it is to put a few minuscule seeds and shivering seedlings into the chilly soil of spring and see, just a few weeks later, an actually edible bounty emerge. It's so strange and wonderful to be this involved in process of feeding myself and my family. (Slugs and bugs notwithstanding.)

St. Nickolaus grape tomatoes growing . . .

I've reached an uneasy peace with the bunnies, who have pretty much left my new crop of cilantro alone in favor of the carrots that emerged once the radishes finished. I don't know what the groundhog eats, but he's there to stay, too. The giant moles have uprooted two pepper plants and an eggplant, but they supposedly keep the beetle population down, so they're here to stay as well. The hornworms . . . well, that's a story for another day. Suffice it to say, the good Lord has provided this organic gardener with a solution to at least one of her pestilence woes - no tweezers required.

Ripening on a sunny countertop . . .

Avocados patiently waiting for the tomatoes ripen


And finally, with ripe tomatoes and cilantro from my own garden, a basket of ripe avocados, and sweet red onion on hand, this salad came together for lunch one afternoon. In the unlikely event that you have leftovers, you might like to do as we did: Just mash the salad up with a little jalapeno sauce and use it to top off grill-sizzling cheddar burgers.

Ah, the joys of gardening.

Savory Avocado Salad


2 ripe avocados
1/2 cup grape or cherry tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped red onion
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Juice of 1/2 lime
Kosher salt and coarsely ground black pepper to taste
Bibb lettuce leaves, hollowed tomatoes, cilantro sprigs for serving (optional)

1. Peel and pit avocados. Dice and place in medium mixing bowl. Halve grape tomatoes and add to avocados in bowl.

2. Sprinkle chopped onion and cilantro over the avocados and tomatoes. Drizzle with olive oil and lime juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper and stir gently to combine.

3. Cover salad and let stand for 30 minutes - in refrigerator or at room temperature - to allow flavors to blend. Serve on lettuce leaves or in hollowed-out tomatoes. Garnish with sprigs of cilantro, if desired.

Mixing it up . . .



8 comments:

  1. there is nothing like fresh grown tomatoes from your own garden!

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  2. I've made a very similar salad, but mine had more tomatoes than avocados. Yours looks sooo good!

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  3. I've made a very similar salad, but mine had more tomatoes than avocados. Yours looks sooo good!

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  4. -Kat: You said it! :)

    -Deborah: Thanks! I happened to have a basket full of ripe avocados but a s-l-o-w garden, so I went avocado crazy. My tomatoes are finally starting to get ripe. Late bloomers!

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  5. I just recently realized that I liked Avacado! Now I cant get enough of it! This looks wonderful

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  6. Avocados are delicious. I'm so jealous of your garden! I live in an apartment and a flower/herb box is not really an option. Last summer I tried to raise basil and oregano in the kitchen; the basil succumbed to thrips (no slugs in the kitchen!) and the oregano to... something.

    p.s. I really like that shot of the tomatoes on the countertop with the light and shadows.

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  7. Oh wow - what a wonderful bounty and what a gorgeous salad! Yum!

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  8. ~Leslie: Thank you, and welcome to the avocado-lovers fan club!:)

    ~toxobread: If you could see it right now, I don't think "jealous" would be your first feeling. Pity maybe. Just kidding . . . it's doing okay, considering I've basically let the slugs take over the basil and we have the full-time menagerie of mole, rabbit, and groundhog to contend with. But we're finally getting some gorgeous eggplant and tomatoes, parsley and cilantro . . . and what more can I ask from a tiny little patch of soil that I've watered only twice this year? (Rain almost every day - hence the festival of slugs.)

    Glad you liked the pic!

    ~Kristen: Thank you! I'm kind of surprised at how prolific my one grape tomato plant is. St. Nickolas is the way to go!

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