Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Damn that was a good salad

I haven’t done a recipe for a long time and this one is dead simple:

  • 1 ripe Avocado per person
  • Grape tomatoes
  • Stuffed olives
  • A little mayonnaise

Now the key to this salad is knowing how to deal with the avocado.  You need to girdle the avocado with a sharp knife, cutting completely around it in the long direction as deep as the pit.  If the avocado lying on the counter is the world you want to cut completely around the equator as deep as the pit.  Twist the two halves and if it is properly ripe you will end up with two perfect halves with the pit remaining in one half.  If you whack the pit with the knife such that the knife remains embedded in the pit you can easily twist it out. 

None of this will work if the avocado isn’t perfectly ripe.  Too early and it will be tough and green; too late and it will be mushy and brown.  One secret that one of my cocineras mexicanas taught me is to put green avocados in a slightly warm oven for a few hours to hasten their ripening.  Its very hard to buy good avocados up here because they are largely picked too green.  If you want to use them immediately when you cradle them in your hand they should feel almost soft but not soft.   If they’re too green when you buy them they will never ripen.  Its much easier to buy them in Mexico but its such a grind to get them back home in time for supper if you don’t actually live in Mexico.

Now take one half of the avocado and cradle it in your hand.  Cut as deep as the skin but not through the skin in a criss cross pattern through the entire meat of the fruit.  When you’ve done that to both halves you can scoop out the meat and you will end up with mainly little cubes maybe 1/4” or a little bigger on a side. 

Cut the grape tomatoes into quarters and mix them with the  avocado cubes.  Cut some olives in half to taste and mix it all up with a little mayonnaise.  Let it chill for half an hour so the flavours can mix – don’t leave it too long or the avocado will turn brown.

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