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People and Food: Cool Summer Salad

These simple ingredients combine to make a tasty salad or salsa.

July 20, 2020
summer salad
Simple, fresh and sublime. Lynda Morris Childress

We spend our summers on our Hunter 31, Katie 3, sailing from our home port of Hamilton, Lake Ontario, Canada, through the Bay of Quinte to the Thousand Islands. I revel in the sailing, the scenery, and the meals created from local markets. I love having quick and easy go-to recipes for after a long passage, or being anchored and having time to let flavors ­develop. § A small farmers market was the inspiration for this saucy ­summer salad. It’s almost a ceviche minus the seafood, using lemon ­instead of lime. The initial chilling time is key because it allows the ­flavors to marry. Fresh cilantro and red onion added at the last ­minute lend a nice tang. A drizzle of olive oil just before serving ties all the ­flavors together. § This salad is extremely versatile: Add diced jalapeno for additional zing. If you only have limes on hand, use those. Add grilled chicken or shrimp to make a complete, light meal. It’s also great as a dip. At a recent birthday dinner on board, I served it as a side, but as the salad warmed to room temperature and the bowl began to empty, my guests improvised: They grabbed some tortilla chips, and—voilà!—the salad became a delicious salsa.

Cool Summer Salad (or Salsa)

  • 1 large, soft-to-the-touch avocado, peeled and chopped
  • 1 medium tomato, chopped into small pieces
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder (optional)
  • 1-2 tsp. salt (or to taste)
  • 2-4 Tbsp. red onion, minced finely (or to taste)
  • 3 Tbsp. cilantro, chopped coarsely
  • Olive oil, for drizzling

Serves 2 as a side salad, or 3 to 4 as a dip

Place chopped avocado and tomato in a medium-size bowl. Drizzle juice from half the lemon over avocado and tomato slices (this will prevent the avocado from turning brown). Add garlic powder and half of the salt. Toss, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and chill for at least 1 hour. Before serving, squeeze remaining lemon juice over the salad, taste, and add additional salt to taste, if desired. Drizzle with olive oil and toss lightly. Sprinkle red onion and cilantro before serving.

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Preparation time: 15 minutes, plus chilling time

Difficulty: Easy

Can be made: Underway or at anchor

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Cook’s Notes

To serve as a salsa, reduce chilling time to 30 minutes. Remove from fridge, still covered, and let sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes before serving—as the veggies warm and tomatoes release juice, it yields a salsa-like texture. Add finishing touches as above, and serve with plenty of tortilla chips. 

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