Another day, another .............
............. salad! Actually, several salad ideas for using the delicious Avocado-Basil Vinaigrette from yesterday's post. You can read all about this delightfully addictive dressing here.
I wanted to share a fun technique with you today that is amazingly simple, for the lovely results it produces. If you enjoy avocados, then you will not only love the Avocado-Basil Vinaigrette, but you're going to be thrilled with this fun way of slicing an avocado (okay, okay, maybe I'm the only one that get's "thrilled" about crazy stuff like this). It makes such a unique, fun presentation...... and combined with the Avocado-Basil Vinaigrette, it's sure to bring a few oohs and aahs at your next meal celebration! Oh.... and check out the unbelievably simple method* I've learned recently to keep avocados from browning so quickly - it works like a charm!
If you've been a regular visitor to The Café, you've probably heard me say this before, but it's really true: I believe we taste with our eyes before the food ever hits our palate. You can use simple techniques to make your food attractive...... it will not only seem to taste better, but your family/friends will feel like they're quite special. Preparing food is a lot of work, so taking just a few extra minutes to make it look attractive is definitely worth the effort.
I've had fun lately with this delicious, versatile dressing and have tried it on both fruit and vegetable salads - I thought I'd share pictures of a few of these ideas along with the avocado technique. As you can see. I've even used it as an unique, fresh dip for steamed shrimp. The avocado slices paired with just a few berries and the dressing in a fun container make a lovely, yet simple first course for a dinner party. Let your imagination (and your refrigerator stash) come up with some new ideas. I'd love to hear how you use the vinaigrette! Bon Appétit!
P.S. Any of these fresh, spring-inspired salads would make a fabulous first course or side salad for Easter dinner!
Beautiful Avocado Slices
1 (or more) fairly ripe avocado (not mushy)
a sharp knife
a shallow plate with water
1. Place the avocado on a cutting board. Using a sharp knife, cut through the center of the avocado lengthwise until the knife comes in contact with the pit. Turning the avocado continue slicing around the pit until the knife meets the initial incision point. Remove the knife and give the avocado a gentle twist until the halves separate. Remove the pit by carefully but firmly striking it with the sharp edge of a knife. Twist the knife slightly to loosen and remove the pit.
2. Do not peel the avocado halves. Using a sharp knife (I like to use my serrated knife for this part) place one avocado half on it's side and begin making 1/4-1/8-inch lengthwise slices, thicker slices are a bit easier to handle. *Place slices on the plate of water and turn over to wet on both sides (this will keep them from turning brown until you are ready to prepare your salads). Continue slicing until you get to the solid part of the avocado. Reserve this part for another use. Repeat with other half. You should get 3-4 slices from each half, depending on thickness.
3. When you're ready to prepare salads, remove avocado slices from the water and pat gently with a paper towel to dry. Slip peel off each slice and arrange decoratively on plates. Add other fruits, vegetables and/or greens as desired. Serve with Avocado-Basil Vinaigrette.
I'll add some pictures of this technique - my photographer was working late and it's just too hard to slice (with a sharp knife!) and take pictures at the same time - I pride myself in multi-tasking, but my I believe my husband would have frowned on this endeavor! :)