When I entertain (which isn’t often, because I can’t get my sh*t together), it’s always a balance of making something seasonal, something that’s a crowd pleaser, and something that won’t have your guests leaving hungry. I made a plant based meal last night for a long overdue get together with our friends John and Theresa, and soooo many of you asked for the recipe for the salad. Like all of my “recipes”, there is no recipe, and I make them up as I go. Oh, and don’t worry, this wasn’t all I fed them! We had black bean burgers which were just as yum, if I do say so myself.
This salad is going to be on regular rotation. If you love cilantro and avocado, you’ll love this one. You bet I texted my guests to ask if cilantro was on the YES list since it can be polarizing. You’re either born with the taste for it, or you’re not. If you’re not, I wouldn’t suggest coming over for a dinner party, because you’ll prrrrrobs find it in a dish or two. I’m the type who asks for extra cilantro or add cilantro, and the server looks at me like I’m crazy. I suppose you could sub parsley for this recipe? But I wouldn’t recommend. This one is for us cilantro lovers, let’s leave it there.
There are a few salad tricks I’ve learned over the years that I neeeed to share with you… 1. make the dressing in advance for over the top flavour 2. sprinkle the top of your salad with salt to bring out the flavours 3. add a finishing crunch like nuts, tortilla chips or croutons. They may change your salad game!!!
My fave salads are a mix of textures and flavours… this one is fresh and bright (plus, it happens to be vegan) – here we go:
ARUGULA AVOCADO SALAD
1 bag arugula
1.5 avocados, cubed (I like to cube it in the skin, and lay on top of the salad until serving – it looks so pretty!)
1 cup fresh, frozen (thawed) or canned (drained) corn
Lots of chopped cilantro. Don’t hold back!
2 handfuls tortilla chips (crushed) (add after the dressing)
Sprinkle of sea salt over the top of the salad
I’m sure I don’t need to tell you how to make salad, but basically you throw it all together in a bowl, and crush the tortilla chips over top after you dress the salad. I know you already knew this.
AVOCADO CITRUS DRESSING
2 tbsp Vegenaise (or other vegan mayo)
3-4 tbsp orange juice
3-4 tbsp lime juice
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tbsp honey (or maple syrup or agave or or or)
Big handful cilantro
Sriracha to taste
Salt to taste
Water to thin if needed
Throw it all into a food processor or blender and you’re done. I can’t stress enough how important it is to taste as you go and play with the different measurements! Make it a few hours ahead for extra taste factor – there’s something about letting those flavours mingle in the fridge that makes it even more special. Dress the salad right before serving.