Very little says summer quite like a beautiful, perfectly ripe avocado.
And this avocado salad with tomato, crispy bacon, red onion and a splash of zesty lime dressing is a gorgeous and healthy accompaniment to most any warm weather meal.
Avocado salad as your healthy and vibrant centerpiece
For me, there’s something indescribably satisfying about being in the market, giving an avocado a squeeze and finding that perfectly ripe specimen with a wonderful “give”, that “just-right” kind of softness.
And to cut open that delectable little pear-shaped gem and have its bright green and creamy flesh exposed, all with the bonus of an easy-to-remove pit? Sheer bliss!
I’m truly all about the avocado these days, because it’s not only pleasurable to eat, but it’s an extremely healthy part of our diet as well.
Loaded with potassium, heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty acids, fiber, and vitamin B, C, E and K, plus folate—these crave-worthy little green orbs are a perfect pick as a fresh snack.
And their oil is an ideal oil to cook with (my personal choice of oil, these days) for the additional benefit of its high-smoke point.
Whether you like your avocados blended until smooth in a guacamole or avocado crema, or sliced to make these beautiful avocado toasts, avocados are definitely a warm-weather staple that make for a colorful center piece on your table, and this salad is no exception.
It’s an easy and colorful stunner that packs a flavor punch, and keeps things cool and “clean eating” friendly for the warm-weather months.
Simply sliced, beautiful and fresh, this avocado salad is full of summer flavor, and pairs wonderfully with any of your other sunny-day offerings—the perfect feast for both the eyes and the appetite!
Avocado Salad Tips & Tidbits:
• Avocados too firm? You can expedite the ripening process by placing your avocados into a paper bag on your counter top for day or two (or three, if really hard) until softened.
• Cut avocado last minute to keep it green: Avocado oxidizes and likes to turn a bit brown, so slice your avocados just before assembling your salad.
You can make this salad a couple of hours ahead of time without any problem with this, as long as you squeeze a bit of lime or lemon over top, drizzle the dressing over, cover the platter with plastic and keep in the fridge.
• Fresh corn, instead: You can use fresh corn kernels cut from the cob if you don’t feel like taking the extra step of charring them; they’ll be sweet and delicious with a bit more crunch.
• Multicolored tomatoes, or just the red: I like to use the heirloom tomatoes that are red, yellow and orange for a colorful salad recipe like this; but if you can’t find them, simply use nice, vibrant red ones.
Feast your eyes on these, or just jump to the recipe:
Avocado Salad with Tomatoes, Charred Corn, Crispy Bacon and Zesty Lime Dressing
by Ingrid Beer
Yield: Serves about 4-6
Prep Time: 20 minutes (approx.)
Cook time: 0 minutes
• 2 ears fresh corn, kernels removed and patted dry of their milk
• Avocado oil
• 4 large, ripe avocados, halved, pit removed, and then cut into wedges and skin removed
• 1 large (or 2 small) red tomatoes, cut into wedges
• 1 large (or 2 small) yellow/orange tomatoes, cut into wedges
• 1/2 small red onion, sliced thinly
• Zesty Lime Dressing (recipe below)
• 4 strips crispy-cooked bacon, chopped
• 1/4 cup Cotija cheese
• 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
-To char your corn kernels, heat a cast-iron skillet (or other heavy-bottom pan) with a touch of avocado oil, and once hot, add in your kernels in a single layer; they may pop from a bit of leftover moisture in them, so take care not to stand right over them (you can even cover pan with a lid) but allow them to char on that first side for about 30 seconds to 1 minute; then, stir, and allow them to get some more color for about another minute or so; spoon out and allow to cool.
-Arrange your avocado wedges on a nice platter or large plate, then arrange over top the tomato wedges, and sprinkle over the red onion slices; sprinkle over the charred corn kernels, and drizzle some of the zesty lime dressing over everything.
-Sprinkle over the crispy bacon, the Cotija cheese, and the cilantro leaves, and sprinkle over just a pinch or two of salt and black pepper, and serve. (You can also prep a couple hours ahead of time— cover the platter in plastic and keep cold in fridge until ready to serve.)
• 1/4 cup mayonnaise
• 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
• 1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
• 1/4 teaspoon (heaping) salt
• Pinch black pepper
• Pinch (or two) ground cumin
• 2 large cloves garlic, pressed through garlic press
• Zest of 1/2 lime
• Juice of 1/2 lime
• Small drizzle agave or honey, if desired
Zesty Lime Dressing Ingredients
-Whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl, and keep cold until ready to use.
From The Heart: “Never Taking for Granted All Those Little Things That Make up a Day”
(“From the Heart” is a little accompaniment to the recipes I bring you, a more intimate space for me to share some of my more personal thoughts on life. Here you’ll find my reflections on my own inner/spiritual journey, on being a wife and a mother, on being a creative, and general observations—pretty much whatever is on my mind.
I whole-heartedly believe that sharing “from the heart” with one another is what connects us, heals us, and inspires us! Glad you’re here…)
I am grateful that this morning I awoke and was given the gift of another day of life, another day to experience the sun on my face and feel the breeze blow through my hair, those little mundane things that can so very easily be taken for granted.
I am grateful to have been able to make myself a delicious cup of coffee, and to savor the very process of the preparation of it: the boiling of the water, the spooning out of my coffee grounds into my French press, the careful pouring of the hot water over the grounds, the steeping and stirring, and then finally, the pouring of that brewed coffee into my waiting mug to finally savor it and slowly begin to feel the amazing clarity and energy that it provides coursing through my veins.
I am grateful to have the use of my legs, that they could carry me on my morning walk around the neighborhood where I could contemplate things and have my conversation—my prayer—with God, my Creator, my All; and where I could have some time to myself to listen to the sound of my own breath go in and out, feel my heart pump, and feel the sweat run down my back.
I am grateful to have been greeted by my husband, my best friend, upon returning from my walk, a greeting full of love, joy, and kindness; and to have another day of marriage to him, another opportunity to practice sharing and growing together as a couple, learning what it means to take our separate desires and combine them into one so that we both can mutually benefit from all we do.
I am grateful to have been able to go to the market, and to have selected and purchased precious food so that it could, in turn, be creatively prepared and become not only a pleasure to partake in, but also nourishing to our bodies, that we may be sustained.
And even though my day is not yet completed, I am grateful for what is yet to come, what is yet to be experienced, God willing…
And I am grateful to have had music that I love, that moves me, to listen to as I worked in the kitchen, to keep me company.
I am grateful for the breeze that blows through my open windows, and for the gentle sun that shines down, because it urges me to go out and enjoy the way the outdoors feel for a few moments in the middle of my day, and soak up some natural healing and beauty.
And I am grateful to have this opportunity to sit down and share something, put words and thoughts down and to record this moment of time, in hopes of gaining a bit more understanding of myself and perhaps even sharing something personal with another human being in this amazing dance that we do together, this give and take.
And even though my day is not yet completed, I am grateful for what is yet to come, what is yet to be experienced, God willing: the flavor of that pork shoulder that I have slow-roasting in my oven for those homemade tacos for tomorrow’s meal; the late afternoon cup of coffee; the early evening sky; the warm bath to close out my day with; the slipping on of my pajamas; greeting my husband with a hug and a kiss when he walks through the door tonight; settling in to watch something on the television with him…
Goodness gracious…it is the little things that make up a day, that make up a life.
Life is lived in the little moments, those easy-to-gloss-over morsels of time that feel like nothing much is happening, when in fact, everything is happening.
I am grateful for each moment in a day (and in the night) in which the seemingly mundane takes place, for life is but a series of simple moments that eventually culminate in greater understanding and wisdom, if they are beheld with a grateful heart.
May gratitude flow abundantly, and with abandon; and may those little things in life, those little moments, never be taken for granted.
Taste what’s good and pass it on.