I am so excited to be heading to Fitbloggin again this year. Fitbloggin is the class reunion/family reunion full of all of your favorite people. Some of whom you've actually met in person. One of the amazing sponsors this year is the California Avocado Commission. They are holding the California Avocado Cutting-Edge Culinary Recipe Contest for people attending Fitbloggin this year, and I couldn't be any more excited. If you've read my blog, you know that I love to cook with fresh ingredients, and you can't get much fresher than California avocados.
Since it's rapidly approaching meltdown stage in Texas, I wanted to make something fresh and cool, yet full of flavor. Summer on a plate.
Avocado and Mango Salad with Chicken and Grilled Pineapple (serves 2)
1 California avocado
2 cooked chicken breasts
1/4 red onion, finely diced
2 T light olive oil
1 T white wine vinegar
1 t honey
1/4 t cayenne
1 T lime juice
2 T cilantro, finely chopped (you can use basil or Thai basil if you don't care for cilantro)
sliced salad topper almonds
Peel and core your pineapple. Cut in to wedges approximately 1/2 thick. Heat up a grill pan over medium high heat and grill the wedges for 5 minutes on each side. Set aside to cool while you finish putting the salad together. (If you're like me and already have the bbq grill up and running, grilling the pineapple outside would be awesome!)
While the pineapple is cooling, peel and core your mango and cut in to bite sized pieces. Next, take your cooked chicken breasts and cut in to half inch cubes. Lastly, halve your avocado, remove the pit, and slice in to cubes. The easiest way to do this is to cut in half, lengthwise and split apart. Take the side that has the pit and tap the pit with the blade of your knife. Slowly twist and pull out the pit. Next, you take a small knife and cut the meat of the avocado in a grid pattern all the way to the skin, without cutting through. Then you simply use a spoon to remove the cubes. (Here's a hint: You can do something similar to the mango by slicing the mango "cheeks" off of the sides of the mango, and score in the same manner, using a knife to remove the mango cubes.)
For the dressing, finely chop both your red onion and the cilantro. Reserve a little of each to garnish the salad. Place the red onion and cilantro in a medium sized bowl, big enough to mix the salad. Add the olive oil, white wine vinegar, honey, cayenne and lime juice. Mix well with a fork to combine.
Now that your pineapple is cooled, cut the fruit into 1/2 inch chunks. Add the chicken, mango, and pineapple to the dressing in the bowl and gently mix to coat.
Spoon your salad in to a nice serving bowl or on to a bed of lettuce leaves. Garnish with sliced almonds, cilantro and red onion.
Update: Today I added diced cucumber to the leftovers. I loved the crunch it added.