Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Strawberry & Avocado Salad

Once upon a time, I won Iron Chef: Battle Avocado. You're correct in assuming it was not the HGTV or even actual Japanese version. Birds of a feather flock together, and several of my friends are also foodies that like to cook and kick ass (or eat). Enter the best of both worlds - Iron Chef competitions. Anyhoo, out of three, I've only won once (ONCE!), but it was the first one, so I wear my chef's hat proudly.
One of the dishes I made was this fab strawberry and avocado salad. I believe I was inspired by this recipe from All Recipes, but I cannot remember what I did to tweak it or put my own spin on things. I've looked over the recipe again, and quite honestly, it looks awesome as is. The only thing I may have done was to eyeball all of my measurements instead of following along and maybe throw in some cheese. Shocker, I know.

Strawberry and Avocado Salad
  • bag of spring mix salad
  • an avocado - peeled, pitted and chopped or sliced
  • 2 c or so of sliced strawberries (washed, hulled, etc.)
  • roasted or candied pecans - I'd caution against the candied version if you're making the dressing on the All Recipes site. Way too sweet. In fact I'd suggest you start with 1 tsp of sugar and add more to taste. I tend to stick with honey for sweetening my dressings.
  • blue cheese or goat cheese
  • dressing

It's really as easy as that. The amounts on everything are to your personal preference. If you like a lot of nuts, go for it, if you like more strawberries, be my guest. I went with about equal parts avo and berry and maybe 1/4 cup of nuts.
I really like Brianna's Blush Wine Vinaigrette dressing for salads like this (there is even a strawberry on the label!). That one would be great, but you could also pick up a prepared balsamic or raspberry vinaigrette.
* an aside - the Brianna's website says the Blush Wine Vin. would go well with wild game and man oh man, my tastebuds are thinkin' they're right. I'll have to try it.
If I was making my own I'd probably go with a nice sweet & tangy one, mixing honey mustard, aged balsamic (or a gourmet flavored version), olive oil, s & p and a little bit of honey.
Keep in mind that the more sweet things you add, the lighter the dressing should be. If you're using avos, strawberries, blue cheese and candied pecans, you wouldn't want a really thick powerful or overly sweet dressing. If you want to go with that kind of dressing, try to make the salad a bit more savory by using roasted nuts, and maybe feta instead of blue. And we all know goat cheese can go on anything.


M. Quinn Sweeney said...

do you do these events often? What was the most recent battle? Who won?

Rogue Designs said...

Yeah Yeah - you're only on even footing though, Iron Chef Pillsbury Crescent Dough. Besides, Iron Chef Avocado sounds way cooler.
(I still think you were robbed on Iron Chef Mango)