Saturday, December 13, 2008

Pico de Gallo with Avocado Salad

Getting good varieties of lettuce is somewhat difficult down here, but growing your own is not!
Have some friends pick up a mesculin mix in the states and bring it down for you.
Instead of buying a 1/16 oz of seed in a small envelope for 2 bucks, you can buy 1 or 2 oz for 3 dollars if you go to a farm and feed supply store.
I purchase enough seed to equip a small army for dollars instead of hundreds...unless you absolutely positively can only get them in that size.
I grow both Romaine, butter and two or three other varieties all year round. They sprout in about 1 week and I pick them off as they get to 5 or 6 inches high.
I will usually plant a batch once a month, that way there is always a new batch ready to pick almost any time.
Here is a nice quick throw together salad.

In a small bowl, whisk together the lime juice and the olive oil.

In a large bowl, combine the lettuce, cilantro and pico de gallo.

Toss in the salt and pepper into the dressing. Take a couple of firm to medium avocados and cut them in half, remove the pits.

There is an easy way to remove the pit, be careful unless you understand the concept. With a sharp knife with the middle of the sharp blade edge, whip it downward into the middle of the pit. The idea here is to have the knife blade enter the pit, in the middle and set itself into the pit deep enough. Once the blade is in, then with your hand that you were holding the avocado with, twist it while holding pressure against the blade until the pit turns, once it turns then you can pull out the pit, if you did everything correctly the pit will pull out stuck in to the knife edge. The simply give it a reverse swing and throw it off the blade. (Again please be care full or if you have any hesitation about this or do not understand the mechanics of this, do not do it!)

Once you have 4 halves of the avocado, you can take a small paring knife or even a butter knife and cris-cross lines up and down into the halved portions of the avocado to form 1/2 inch cubes, once you have run the lines up and down, then you can tale a spoon and scoop out the cut pieces, (This takes a little practice but it is easier than cutting it out of the shell)

Once you have the avocado cut into small dice, toss into the bowl with the lettuce, dressing and service immediately.

If you have other greens like watercress (berro) or baby spinach leaves, you can also toss them in, use any non bitter leaves, they are all good!

Stuff you will need

2 Ripe large avocados

¼ cup juice from lemons
¼ cup olive oil or peanut oil
2 large heads boston bibb lettuce, shredded or combination of arugula, (rocket) or romaine.
2/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 cup fresh pico de gallo or your favorite home made salsa
salt and pepper to taste

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