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Thursday, February 23, 2012

Avocado Caprese Salad With Olives

A few months ago, I discovered that I do not hate avocados.

I thought that I didn't like them.  Once upon a time, I can't even remember when, or where, or who I was with, or what I was eating, but I know there were avocados and I definitely remember I didn't like the taste.

And I've hated them ever since.  

Last year, I was talking with a dear, sweet friend of mine and she mentioned a recipe that she was making and there were avocados in it and I can't remember what I said but it was something to the effect of, "BLAH.  NOPE.  ICKY-EWW.  GROSS-ME-OVER."  And she replied (I remember this, verbatim):  "WHAT?  DON'T TELL ME YOU DON'T LIKE GUACAMOLE!"  And I said, "Not if there are avocados in it."

Well, this conversation sort of stuck with me, because she is a dear, sweet, trusted friend and I value her opinion, even if it's the opposite of what I think I believe.

So, to shorten this very long-winded story, I will just cut to the chase:  A few months ago I tried an avocado again and discovered that I LOVE AVOCADOS.

What was wrong the first time?  Was it a rancid avocado or bad seasoning or something else?
Who knows? 

The point of my rambling is this:  You may think that you don't like avocados, but maybe you need to try them again.

And then, like me, you will find yourself adding them to every possible recipe you can think of.  Like Caprese Salad.

I've blogged about Caprese Salad before.  But this is the version I make that I've started adding avocados to every salad I make.......... ever since I discovered that I don't hate avocados.

Today's Playlist
  • "Hate To Say I Told You So"..........Hives
  • "Walk"........Foo Fighters
  • "Supermassive Black Hole"........Muse
  • "Lonely Boy"........Black Keys
  • "Mrs. Robinson"........Lemonheads
  • "Junk Of The Heart".........Kooks
  • "Animal"........Neon Trees

Avocado Caprese Salad With Olives

For the balsamic vinaigrette:

  •  1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • salt and pepper, to taste
For the salad:
  • 1 cup of olives (according to your preference)
  • 1 cup of bite-sized fresh mozzarella
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes
  • 1 ripe avocado, sliced
  • 1/4 cup shredded basil

Gather your ingredients.  The Dijon mustard was feeling a li'l camera shy.

Prepare your dressing.

Crush the garlic into a small bowl.
Add the balsamic vinegar.
Add the olive oil.
Add a pinch of salt and pepper.
And finally, squirt in some Dijon mustard.
Whisk together.  Set aside while you prepare your salad.

The salad is soooooo easy to prepare.
If you are using a large chunk of fresh mozzarella, cut it into bite-sized pieces.

 I used a tub of ciliegine (little bite-sized pearls of fresh mozzarella), all I had to do was drain the liquid.  Ditto for the canned black jumbo olives that I used.

Put the olives, mozzarella and tomatoes into a serving dish.

You are not seeing things.  Or should I say you are not NOT seeing things.  There are no tomatoes in the above picture.   They will magically appear by the end of this post.
Prep the basil.  Grab your leaves, stack 'em and shred 'em.

If you are preparing your salad ahead of time,  you should refrigerate it (and the dressing) at this point.  Do not slice your avocado until it is time to serve, because the avocado will turn brown if you cut it in advance.

If you are preparing your salad and plan to serve it immediately, carry on.

To slice your avocado, take a sharp knife and insert it until the blade hits the pit inside.  Slice lengthwise completely around the avocado.

Twist the avocado so that the halves separate.

Do you think that the cut avocado in the above picture resembles the head of Barney the purple dinosaur?  All it needs is a big eye kinda in the center.  Just observin'.

Now you have two halves of the avocado with the big pit in one half.

Run a spoon around the pit to remove it.

OR you can plunge a sharp knife into the pit, twist it, and out comes the pit.

To remove the flesh, score once lengthwise and make lots of little crosswise cuts.

 Then scoop out with a spoon and you will have nice little chunks.
Or you can use a fancy-schmancy tool like this to slice the avocado.

I scored it once crosswise, because I want the slices to be cut in half.

Then run the edge of the scoop along the shell.

Add the avocado to the salad.

Toss to combine.

Sprinkle the ribbons of basil onto the salad.

 Drizzle with about half of the balsamic vinaigrette.  Serve the remaining vinaigrette on the side.

1 comment:

  1. This salad looks delicious! I cannot wait to try your recipe. Very nice photos, too.


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