Aida Mollenkamp is a California-based chef, traveler, and author. You can find her online at Salt & Wind, a food and travel resource for those out to taste the world. Today she’s sharing her healthy and delicious recipe for Grilled Avocado Salad. Take a look…
Hi, friends! It’s Aida, the creator of Salt & Wind, where we think up recipes inspired by our favorite places.
I’m a California girl, born and raised, and some of my most-loved recipes come from the Golden State. For example, classic Green Goddess Dressing, which is used in this Grilled Avocado Salad. This is a recipe that I highly recommend making before summer is over. What’s that? You’ve never grilled an avocado? Well, neither had I before two seconds ago and now I’m smitten and you will be too.
When the weather is oh-so-hot that I don’t dare set foot in the kitchen, everything from work to dining to entertaining heads alfresco. And, once I fire up the grill, it’s nonstop. Romaine lettuce? Amazing on the grill for just 30 seconds. Grapefruit? Char it then squeeze it into your next margarita. Pound cake? Grill it, serve it with gelato, and then eat this Grilled Avocado Salad so you can get into your go-to Little Black Dress by fall.
Speaking of, this salad is like the little black dress of recipes. The dressing is a classic, dating back a hundred years or so (no joke, it was created at San Fran’s Palace Hotel back in 1923). And, while it’s amazing as-is, I nixed the dairy so it’s vegan friendly. It’s a dressing I use everywhere from salads to sandwiches to grain bowls. But promise me one thing: that you’ll try the whole deal, grilled avo and all, because it’s brilliant, elegant, and easy in a way that’s 100 percent Golden State.
Grilled Avocado Salad with Green Goddess Dressing
Makes: 4 to 6 servings
For the dressing:
- 1 firm-ripe avocado
- 1 bunch (about 1/2 ounce) fresh chives
- 2 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf Italian parsley leaves
- 1 tablespoon fresh tarragon leaves
- 1/4 cup white balsamic or champagne vinegar
- 2 tablespoons freshly-squeezed lemon juice
- 1 garlic clove
- Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- Pinch of sugar
For the salad:
- 1 pint (about 1 1/2 cups) grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 small shallot, halved and sliced paper thin
- 3 firm-ripe avocados, halved
- 1/2 pound (about 3) mini Romaine lettuce, ends trimmed and leaves separated
- 1 ear corn, shucked and kernels cut off
- 1/4 cup roasted and salted pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds) or sliced almonds
For the dressing:
- Combine all the dressing ingredients in a food processor or blender, add a pinch of salt and a few cranks of freshly ground black pepper, 1/3 cup of water, and process until smooth, about 1 minute.
- Taste and add more seasoning as desired. Add enough water so the dressing is pourable and just coats a lettuce leaf. (Dressing can be made up to 12 hours ahead of time; store refrigerated until ready to use.)
For the salad:
- Heat a grill or grill pan to medium heat (about 350°F). Meanwhile toss the tomatoes with a drizzle of olive oil, a pinch of salt, and some freshly ground black pepper.
- If the shallots are really strong, soak them in ice water for 5 minutes to reduce the bite, then drain off the water before using.
- When the grill is hot, brush the cut sides of the avocado with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, then place cut side-down on the grill and cook until grill marks show up and the avocado just starts to soften, about 2 to 3 minutes.
- Remove avocado from the grill and peel. Assemble the salad by arranging the lettuce then avocados on a serving plate. Scatter drained tomatoes, drained shallots, corn, and pepitas over the top then serve with dressing passed on the side.
Will you be trying this recipe?
Would love to hear your go-to warm weather recipes, too!