Anyone who loves to cook, loves to get a new recipe; especially one that’s tried and true from someone you know!
One Wednesday a month on Women Behind the Scenes, we’ll be sharing a new recipe, complete with ingredients, instructions, and even some extra tid bits like stories about what country the recipe comes from, when or why we started making it, or a photo or two from our kitchens. We hope you enjoy as we open our homes and kitchens and share some of our unique dishes!
This week’s recipe comes to you from Chile, South America.
Before we get started, there’s something you should know about Chileans and food: They love their salads. A meal is not complete without one.
Now in an American mind, when you hear the word salad, you probably picture a bowl of lettuce mixed with several vegetables and topped off with a dressing of some sort. But that’s not how a Chilean defines a salad. For them, a salad is basically any vegetable, cooked or raw, that is served cold. As a matter of fact, besides mashed potatoes or rice, you’re hard pressed to see a vegetable served hot at a meal in Chile.
When we first arrived here, the salads seemed bland to me. I was used to all the flavor of a good mixed salad with a variety of veggies and salad dressing. But over the years, I’ve learned to appreciate the simplicity of the Chilean salad. I rarely make a mixed salad these days. In fact, after nine years in Chile, I can’t serve a meal without some sort of cold vegetable on the side. It’s my culture now. I love the simple, fresh taste.
So today, I’m going to share an easy Chilean salad recipe with you. This salad is on the table about 4 times a week in the Holt house, and it always get devoured.
Avocado Lemon Salad
Small head of your favorite lettuce
Large Avocado (the Hass variety is best)
Fresh lemon juice
Yes, I realize that something is missing in these ingredients: measurements! And believe me, I’m a girl who likes to follow recipes and who really appreciates some solid instructions. But this just isn’t that kind of recipe. So much depends on the creaminess of the avocado and the strength of the lemon juice. But don’t worry, I’ll give you some detailed instructions on how to put this salad together.
First you need to wash your lettuce. This time of year in Chile, we gets lots of bugs in our lettuce. So I have to go through several washes to get it clean. You won’t need your salad spinner, it’s ok if the lettuce isn’t bone dry.
Now comes the avocado. If you live in the States, I’m sorry you had to pay so much for it:) I bought a whole kilo this week for what you pay for one. (perks of being a missionary) Anyway, make sure it’s good and mooshy. Cut it in half. Stab the pit with a large knife and pull it out. Then use a spoon to scoop the avocado out from it’s skin. Chop it into little pieces and throw it in the lettuce.
If you’re like me, and you put lemon on just about everything; grab your fresh lemon juice you squeezed for the week and pour a good amount over the lettuce. If you’re not like me, cut a lemon or two and squeeze the juice out, being careful not to let the seeds fall into the salad.
Then just pour a little oil (I use Canola) over everything and sprinkle with salt. Mix it up well. The avocados will almost blend into the lettuce. Taste and make sure you don’t need a little more lemon juice or salt. Then serve it to your hungry family immediately. The lettuce won’t stay firm long. You can even try some Spanish and say, “Vamos a comer una ensalada de lechuga con palta hoy”!
I hope you enjoy this recipe from my home! Check back month to see what new recipe we will be sharing. And if one recipe a month isn’t enough for you, take a look at this amazing cookbook we’ve put together: http://www.womenbehindthescenes.com/cookbook/