Saturday, July 16, 2011

Guacamole Salad

Once upon a time there were 2 friends who had a food blog. Then one friend moved away. The other friend who stayed behind missed her and all the cooking adventures they had. Months passed. Then the friend who left, returned! It was only for a short while, but oh how happy the friends were! They ate and cooked and baked and ate some more. (Maybe they ate a little too much.) One night for dinner, this salad was born and the two friends ate in silence. The one friend said, "This is very good." The other friend said, "This is really good." And that was the end of the conversation because they were too busy eating the salad. With bellies full of good food, the 2 friends parted that night thanking the stars above for each other and for the fantastic thing that is guacamole salad. The end.

*inspiration came from this Mel's Kitchen Cafe recipe.
She is a beautiful person for sharing it with the world.

*need a grilled corn tutorial? click here.

1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and chopped
2 cans (15oz each) black beans, rinsed and drained
1/4- 1/2 cup diced red onion (depends on how much raw onion you like)
3 ears grilled sweet corn, with the kernels removed from the cobs
1-2 cups cooked quinoa, cooled
1 tsp freshly grated lime zest
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (about 3 limes)
1/4 cup EVOO
1-2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 medium garlic clove, finely minced OR 1 tsp fresh chopped garlic from a jar
a dash (or two or three or seven) of cayenne pepper
3 ripe avocados, seeded, peeled and diced

* a note about measurements before we start with the directions. This recipe serves 6 as a side dish. Or it could also serve 2 ravenously hungry friends who sat down with a bag of tostitos new pepper jack tortilla chips and that was all they had for dinner. First, decide on how many people you are serving. If its on the "more" side, use the bigger measurement. If its on the "less" side, you could tone it down a little and still have lots of salad. You don't want a lot of leftovers because it doesn't keep very well. You know, the avocados turn brown and ruin the prettiness. Its not a "make the day before" salad. Next, adjust to your taste. Don't love corn? leave it out. (really, you don't love corn, what's your deal?) Like more black beans? Throw in another can. This is a starting point really. You can take it and run wild. And try the chips.
Seriously. They were made for this salad.

Throw the tomatoes, yellow pepper, black beans, red onion, corn, quinoa and lime zest in a large bowl. In another bowl, whisk the lime juice with the olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic and cayenne pepper and pour over the veggies in the big bowl. Mix 'em up good. Pop in the fridge until you're ready to serve, they can hang out in there for a few hours.

A few minutes before you bring out your salad and wow your guests, get the avocados seeded, peeled and diced and GENTLY fold them into the mixture. Give it a taste test. Or two. Or three. You are the quality control person. Needs another squeeze of fresh lime? Do it now. Needs another dash of salt and pepper? Get 'er done. Then put it on the table and watch it disappear. Every last corn kernel will have vanished. And your guests will be duly impressed. And you will say, "What? I cook like this all the time!" Well done friend, well done.

1 comment:

Emily Butler said...

This is Staci's cousin, Emily. I love making guacamole, and I love quinoa, so thank you for this clever idea! Here is a blog that always makes me think of you guys. I mostly follow it because she blows my mind, even though I don't really have a hankering for most of what she makes.

For example, here are instructions for an asparagus-like cake: