Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Avocado Summer Salad

Because it's so important to eat your greens, and because your garden will provide you with an abundance of lettuce in no time at all, you'll need lots of different salad recipes to mix things up. The same old lettuce, tomato and carrot salad, while very tasty, won't cut the mustard week after week.

One of our favorite salad ingredients is avocado. Not only is it one of the most nutritional fruits out there, but it's silky texture helps emulsify the salad dressing, creating a rich meal all on its own.

In this variation, we used fresh corn cut off the cob (although canned or frozen corn kernels would work just as well), diced avocado and cucumber to compose a refreshing summer salad.

1 head lettuce, torn into bite-sized pieces - red leaf, green leaf, butter lettuce or any other variety will do
kernels cut from 2 boiled or steamed sweet corn cobs (or use 1 can of canned corn kernels or 2 cups defrosted frozen corn)
1 English cucumber or 2 pickling cucumbers, diced
1 large, ripe Hass avocado
4 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1-2 Tablespoons white wine vinegar, to taste
salt and pepper

To prepare the avocado, slice the fruit in half around the pit. Twist the halves to separate, then carefully remove the pit -- gently tap the pit with the blade of your knife, then twist the avocado half and pit in opposite directions to loosen and remove. Scoop the avocado out of the skin with a spoon, making sure to keep the flesh in one piece. You can now easily dice the flesh into 1/4-inch pieces.

Combine lettuce, corn, cucumber and avocado in a large bowl. Whisk together oil, vinegar and mustard in a small bowl. Once the dressing is combined, drizzle over the salad and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Optional additional ingredients: crumbled feta cheese, shaved parmeggiano cheese, halved cherry tomatoes, toasted pine nuts, golden raisins or fresh herbs. If you think of other combinations, or if you have a great salad recipe, please send it to us at theyardfarmer@gmail.com. We might feature it on the Yard Farmer blog to share with everyone!

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