03 July 2011

a salad to celebrate

Guacamole SaladBreaking news! For once, I made something exactly according to the recipe-- apart from multiplying everything by fifteen. And it was perfect.

Yesterday our friends Nate and Stephanie got married, and this Southwestern-inspired salad was served at their reception. I volunteered to make it, and goodness grapes, I've never sliced so many peppers nor minced so much garlic in my life.

There were no leftovers and I take that as a sign of success. :)

Food is an inextricable part of celebrations: in my family, it's not a party if there's nothing to eat. And if you're going to eat, you oughta make the most of it. This salad fits the bill.

Ina Garten's Guacamole Salad

1 pint grape tomatoes, sliced in half lengthwise
1 large yellow bell pepper, seeded and diced
1/2 cup red onion, diced
1 15-oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 tablespoons minced serrano peppers (no seeds)*
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup lime juice
1/2 teaspoon fresh lime zest
scant teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
2 ripe Hass avocados, peeled and cubed

1) Toss first five ingredients together in large bowl.
2) Whisk together remaining ingredients except for avocados. Pour over vegetable mixture and stir to coat.
3) I think it's best if you let this sit for a while before serving-- for the wedding I made it almost 24 hours ahead of time, then refrigerated it, and the flavors were wonderfully blended. Whatever you do, don't cube and add the avocado until just before serving. (It starts to go mushy after too much air exposure.) Serve cold or at room temperature.

*Okay, I lied about not changing anything. The recipe called for jalepenos but I could only find serranos, so that's what I used. They tasted great. Make sure you are very, very careful with hot peppers. Wear gloves if you can!

Shared on Pennywise Platter Thursday and Fight Back Friday.

{image credit: Imagelicious on Flickr}

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