Appetizers/Small Plates · Salads · Side Dish · Vegetables/Vegetarian

Roasted Corn and Avocado Salad

Roasted Corn & Avocado Salad

 

I’m always trying to incorporate a new side dish when making old favorite entrees—especially if that new side dish can offer a lighter alternative to the usual. So when the bf decided to fire up the BBQ to make his delicious Grilled Skirt Steak with a Chimichurri Sauce, I wanted to find a pairing that wasn’t heavy to accompany this delish entrée.

 

Roasted Corn & Avocado Salad

Sweet White Corn was in abundance at our local grocery store, so I picked up a couple ears and a few Haas Avocados in hopes of pulling together a bright salad to accent the Chimichurri. By grilling the corn, it gave a wonderful smoky flavor that paired so nicely with the smooth texture of the avocados and the bright vinaigrette. I also do a short cut when cooking the corn—by wrapping it in damp paper towels and throwing it in the microwave for a few minutes, you can cut down cook time on the grill. And let’s be honest, short cuts are blessings in the kitchen sometimes.

And how did it turn out? Instant, easy hit.

 

Roasted Corn & Avocado Salad

 

Next time you’re looking for a simple side dish to pair with some grilled goodness, give this Roasted Corn and Avocado Salad a try—it may just make you forget about coleslaw and potato salad.

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Roasted Corn and Avocado Salad
Serves approximately 3

Ingredients:

vinaigrette:
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
½ tablespoon lime juice
zest of ½ a lime
½ tablespoon finely minced shallots
1 finely minced garlic clove
1 tablespoon minced cilantro leaves
½ teaspoon honey or agave
1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes

kosher salt
ground pepper
3 ears sweet corn, grilled and removed from the cob
1 cup ripe avocado, diced
fresh cilantro leaves
lime wedges

In a small bowl, combine vinaigrette ingredients and whisk together until  emulsified. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

In a large bowl, carefully fold the corn and avocados together.  Add enough vinaigrette to lightly coat the salad. Check seasonings, add additional salt and pepper if needed. Garnish with cilantro leaves and lime wedges. Serve at room temperature.

**Photos updated May 2014

Salads · Side Dish · Vegetables/Vegetarian

Easy Summer Salad

Despite what this blog may illustrate, we do eat veggies– I promise! And with Summer well on its way, light salads are the perfect accompaniment to the warm weather.

My approach to salads are similar to how I make pastas—-rummage through the fridge to see what you can throw in. From veggies to fruit to cheese–anything goes. And although there are a ton of great dressings available in any grocery store, I prefer to make a quick vinaigrette to highlight the produce.

This Easy Summer Salad was made to accompany some leftover pizza we had. Hey–I never said we were 100% healthy 🙂 The recipe is really just a starting point for you to tweak to your liking. Had we had some on hand, I would have loved to add some avocado and fresh mango slices. They would have been a great compliment to the crisp apples and slightly bitter grapefruit.  But at the end of the day, almost anything can go in a salad.

Moral of the Story: EAT YOUR VEGGIES! 🙂

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Easy Summer Salad
Serves 3-4

Ingredients:

Salad:
3 Cups Mixed Greens (such as baby lettuces, spinach, arugula, frisée, raddichio, etc.)
1/3 Cup Chopped Fuji Apples
1/3 Cup Pink Grapefruit, segmented
1/3 Cup Grape Tomatoes, halved
1/4 Cup Crumbled Feta Cheese

Vinaigrette:
1 Tablespoon White Wine Vinegar
3 Tablespoons Quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Teaspoon Dijon Mustard
Pinch of Garlic Powder
Salt and Pepper to Taste

In a small bowl, combine Vinaigrette and whisk together until slightly emulsified. Set aside.

Combine all ingredients for salad, except for Feta Cheese, lightly toss with vinaigrette. Use barely enough to lightly coat the greens. Sprinkle in Feta and toss lightly. Serve and Enjoy!

Appetizers/Small Plates · Salads · Vegetables/Vegetarian

Warm Lentil Salad with Roasted Beets and Chevre

I love cooking with my sister. Times with her in the kitchen are always so fun and innovative—daring and challenging. Therefore, when she invited us over one day to experiment with new dishes, I was ALL IN!

As a San Francisco resident, my sister has access to a wealth of beautiful products at her disposal and she definitely takes advantage of it. SF is a Foodie Paradise filled with delicious produce, sumptuous bakeries, savory proteins, and of course, amazing wines. So it was no surprise that one of the dishes she wanted to give a spin at was a French Lentil and Beet salad.

Beets. I know– I had made the same face at first. To that day, I hadn’t had good experiences with them as I mostly sampled them from a can or a salad bar. BLEH! But the sister assured me that by roasting the gorgeous golden and red beets it would bring out a decadent sugary component.

As for the French Lentils—wow. Picked up at a local grocery cooperation (Rainbow Grocery in San Francisco), they were absolutely beautiful. Nutty in flavor and deeply earthy. Sorry, I know my description didn’t do it nearly the justice it deserves.

My sister decided to take a spin on Martha Stewart’s Lentil Salad and Beets with many variations to the recipe. I don’t know how she did it, but every alteration she did boosted the flavor immensely. I guess big sisters do know some things 🙂

The end product was absolutely amazing—a perfect dish for the upcoming summer months. The sugary beets complimented the rich textures of the lentils while the goat cheese (Chevre from Cowgirl Creamery) added phenomenal creaminess. The vinaigrette was light but had a great amount of acidity while the baby arugula rounded out the dish with a peppery punch.

Would I suggest it? DEFINITELY! Use Martha’s version as a starting point and add or take away any items you’d like.

ENJOY!

Lovely beets prior to roasting

 

Leftovers are just as yummy, too!