Holy Guacamole Salad is the ultimate party dish!
I absolutely love guacamole because it goes on so many things, and this Holy Guacamole Salad captures all the best of the famous dip: It’s got all the same delectable flavors – the zesty lime, the creamy avocado, a little heat from the jalapeño – just in a deconstructed style.
I’ll admit it: I love the Food Network. While I’m more drawn to shows like Chopped! and Iron Chef America, I decided to watch an old episode of Barefoot Contessa yesterday.
Normally, Ina’s food isn’t really up my alley, but her recipe for Guacamole Salad spoke to me right away. The only bummer is that it wasn’t really paleo. A couple of tweaks later, and I had adapted this bowl of vibrant flavors and colors sitting in front of me, perfect for a summer cookout.
Avocados are chock full of healthy fats and key nutrients like Vitamins B6, K, and C. Plus they’re a great source of potassium, folate, and fiber. When combined with the vegetables and herbs in this dish, you’ve got a nutrient-dense powerhouse of a salad that will go with virtually any protein for a complete meal.
In the heat of summer, I like to toss some grilled shrimp on top of my Holy Guacamole Salad for a light and refreshing meal that won’t heat up the kitchen.
I’ve brought Holy Guacamole Salad to many a shindig over the years, and each time, it gets rave reviews. It’s perfect as a side dish for grilled chicken or burgers, and unlike mayo-based dishes, you don’t have to worry quite as much about this salad sitting out for a bit on a warm day.
Much like other salads, Holy Guacamole Salad tends to get better as it sits, and I’ve found that giving it a couple hours before I serve it helps the flavors meld together.
The Persian cucumbers add a nice crunch to the dish. Persian cucumbers have thinner skin and hardly any seeds. If you can’t find them, try using a hothouse or English cucumber instead. If you can’t find either of those, you can just use a regular cucumber. Just halve it and use a spoon to scrape out the seeds which tend to be tough and can give some folks indigestion.
Jalapeño peppers are notorious for their uneven levels of heat: some are milder than Clark Kent while others will burn your face off. Okay, maybe that’s a bit of hyperbole, but when making this Holy Guacamole Salad, start with half a jalapeño and see how spicy the salad is. If you like more of a kick and the pepper seems mild, go from there.
I really love the punchy flavor of grape or cherry tomatoes in this Holy Guacamole Salad. They’re sweet and unlike big tomatoes, you don’t have to worry about seeding them. Just cut them in half if they’re on the bigger side or toss them in whole if they’re smaller.
Don’t worry about the avocado turning brown. You’re using lime juice to create a dressing, and the citrus will deactivate the enzyme responsible for the browning process.
If you’ve been a reader of Stupid Easy Paleo for a while, you may notice this recipe recently got a makeover. Here’s what the photo used to look like:
Click on the photo above to go to my free Food Photography series if you’re interested in improving your skills!
Alright, on to the recipe for Holy Guacamole Salad. Note that this salad does make a pretty large serving, so if you’re serving one or two people, you may want to cut the ingredient quantities in half. This salad will keep for a couple days in the fridge, no problem, but just be sure to store it tightly covered.
- 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
- 3 Persian cucumbers, chopped into medium chunks (we're making salad, not salsa!)
- 1 yellow or orange bell pepper, seeded and cut into chunks
- ½ red onion, diced
- 1 jalapeño pepper (2 if you like spicy), seeded and chopped finely
- 1 clove garlic, chopped finely
- 1 handful fresh cilantro, chopped finely
- 2 large, ripe avocados (or 3 small), pitted and cut into chunks
- Zest from 1 lime
- ⅓ cup fresh lime juice (about 4 limes)
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 tsp sea salt
- ½ tsp ground black pepper
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
- In a large bowl, combine the tomatoes, cucumbers, bell pepper, red onion, avocado, jalapeno, garlic, and cilantro. Mix together, then add the avocado and fold gently to combine.
- Zest one lime into the bowl.
- In a measuring cup, combine the fresh lime juice, olive oil, salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper. Mix and pour over the veggies. Toss gently to coat.