Zingy salad bursting with the fresh flavours of Guacamole. Broccoli and green beans are tossed with avocado, tomatoes, lime juice, red onion and coriander.
I devised this salad as an accompaniment to my Slow-cooked Chunky Beef Shin Chilli recipe. Chilli con carne needs sharp, acidic accompaniments to cut through the heat of the chilli, but also something rich to neutralise the heat. This is why soured cream or guacamole is often served with Mexican food. While I love dipping crispy corn chips into a tub of guacamole, the mushy texture does nothing to compliment a slow-cooked, semi-liquid stew. For this reason, I have deconstructed the ingredients of guacamole to create a simple but impressively fresh and vibrant salad.
Tips & Tricks
- Soak the onion in cold, salted water – this removes the sharpness and long-lasting pungency you get from raw onion
- Remove the seeds from the tomatoes – these dilute the flavour and waterlog the salad
- Test the avocados for ripeness – the skin should yield slightly when pressed, and the stem should peel off easily to reveal a light green patch underneath. A rockhard avocado with a stem that does not remove easily is under ripe. A mushy avocado with brown spots underneath the stem is over ripe.
- Add dressing just before serving – this stops the coriander leaves from getting limp and soggy
- Toss with your hands – this is the most effective way to evenly coat the salad ingredients in dressing
for the salad:
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 50g red onion (about ½ small onion), peeled and very finely diced
- 1 large head of broccoli, core removed and chopped into small, bite-size florets (250g prepared weight)
- 200g green beans or flat beans, sliced into thumb-length pieces (I used flat beans)
- 250g tomatoes (about 3)
- 2 ripe avocados (stem should peel off easily and reveal a light green patch underneath)
- small bunch of fresh coriander (30g), leaves plucked and roughly chopped
for the dressing:
- 2 tablespoons lime juice (1 lime)
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- Soak the onion. Fill a small bowl with very cold water. Stir in the salt, and then add the chopped onion. Leave to soak for 10 minutes. Drain, rinse, pat dry with kitchen towel, and set aside until needed.
- Cook the green vegetables. Meanwhile, put the broccoli florets in a steaming pan over a medium-high heat. Steam for 2 minutes, and then add the green beans. Steam for another 3-5 minutes, until more-or-less fork tender but retaining some bite. Remove the vegetables and plunge into cold water. Leave to cool for 5 minutes. Drain, pat dry with kitchen towel, and set aside until needed.
- Prepare the salad vegetables. De-seed the tomatoes by chopping in half around the equator. Then hold the over a waste bowl and gently squeeze out the seeds, using your thumb to gouge out any stubborn seeds. Finely chop the flesh.
- Cut down into the avocado lengthways until you reach the central stone. Keeping your knife in the avocado, cut all the way around until you come back to where you started. Remove the knife. Gently twist the halves to separate. Prise out the stone with a metal spoon. Chop in half lengthways, so that the avocado is quartered. Scoop out the flesh with the spoon, and chop each quarter into 2-3 slices, depending on size.
- Pour a teaspoon or so of the lime juice into a small bowl. Gently roll each avocado slice in the lime juice. Leave in the bowl until needed.
- Make the dressing. Combine the salad dressing ingredients in a jam jar (lime juice, olive oil, white wine vinegar, salt and black pepper), and shake vigorously until blended.
- Assemble the salad. Combine the onion, green beans, broccoli, tomatoes and coriander in a large serving bowl. Pour over the dressing just before serving, and toss until evenly coated using your hands.