by Margaret Cabaniss
Summer may technically still be a month off, but Monday marked the official beginning of cook-out season, and this salad, to me, is the beginning and end of all summer side dishes. I have never made it when the bowl was not licked clean and at least two people asked for the recipe. I made my first batch of the season for a cookout at my sister’s on Monday, along with this tequila lime chicken, and I’m pretty sure I could have asked for her firstborn afterwards. It is, quite simply, the best.
But enough talk; on to the recipe! It’s adapted (very) slightly from Cook’s Country and will serve 4 as a side (6 as an appetizer-y dip). What you’ll need:
- 1 pint grape tomatoes
- 2 avocados
- 1 jalapeno, stemmed, seeded, and finely diced
- 1/4 c finely chopped cilantro
- 4 scallions, sliced thin (green stalks, too!)
- 1/3 c lime juice (from 3ish limes)
- 1 T lime zest
- 1 garlic clove
- 1/4 c olive oil
Halve the grape tomatoes, then toss with 1/2 teaspoon salt and set in a colander to drain for ten minutes or so while you prep the rest of your ingredients.
To make the dressing: Combine scallions, lime juice, lime zest, garlic, olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a small mason jar, then shake (vigorously!) to combine.
Pat the tomatoes dry on a layer of paper towels, then place in a large bowl. Halve and cube your avocado, then add to the bowl with the tomatoes, along with the jalapeno and cilantro. Pour over about 2/3 of the dressing to start, then gently toss to combine. Add more dressing as necessary (though I often find that I’ll have some leftover).
And that’s it! The dressing actually does a remarkably good job of keeping the salad from browning (always a problem with avocados), so you can safely set it out on your buffet and it’ll still look lovely by the end of dinner. I find it even holds up a day later — if you have any leftovers to begin with.
Images: Margaret Cabaniss