Avocado Salad with Tomato and Radish

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If you love avocados, this recipe is for you.  If you love tomatoes, this recipe is for you.  If you love radishes, this recipe if for you.  If you love all three…then this recipe is REALLY for you.   In the September/October 2012 issue of Cooks Illustrated,  author Celeste Rogers stops her reader in their tracks with the alluring title, “Upgrading Avocado Salads.”   Okay, maybe it isn’t that alluring to most people but for me it caught my attention.  Like me, Celeste Rogers is an avocado enthusiast but complains that the avocado has been lost in the standard salad.  Her solution is to make the avocado a star in its own right.  How, you may ask? Why simply by following these simple steps in guarantying you the PERFECT avocado salad.  Trust me when I say, it is the perfect salad.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large shallot, sliced thin
  • 3 tablespoons of red wine vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon of mayonnaise
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 ripe avocados, halved, pitted and cute into 3/4-inch pieces
  • 12 ounces of cherry tomatoes, quartered (or whole if that’s your preference)
  • 3 radishes, sliced thin
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 3 ounces of ricotta salata, shaved thin.

TIP: Use a mandolin for even and consistant pieces but make sure to use the protective top!  Fingers are easy prey to a mandolin bladeif not used correctly!
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Steps:
1.  Place shallot in 2 cups of ice water and let stand for 3o minutes.  Drain and pat dry with paper towels.
2. Whisk vinegar, garlic, mayonnaise, 1/4 teaspoon. salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in nonreactive bowl until mixture appears milky and no lumps remain.  Whisking constantly, slowly drizzle in oil.  (Dressing should appear homogeneous, glossy, and slightly thickened without pools of oil surfacing.)
3. Gently toss avocados, 2 teaspoons of dressing, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a bowl.  Transfer avocados to large platter or individual plates.
4.  Toss shallots, tomatoes, radishes, and basil with remaining dressing.  Spoon tomato mixture of avocados and sprinkle with ricotta salata.

Serve immediate and most importantly…ENJOY!!!

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